“On May 30, 2014 [defendant] Lieutenant Ramon Gonzalez reviewed the video recording, questioned plaintiff (A.R.) about the incident from the night before, obtained her statement, offered her a taco, declined her request for medical attention and released her to [defendant] Peñitas police Officer Elizabeth Garza without offering her medical attention or counseling,” the complaint says.
Officer Elizabeth Garza of Peñitas, only three miles from La Joya near the US-Mexico border, came to transport the woman to her arraignment. The woman says she told Garza that she was raped. But Garza only offered grim advice.
“Garza advised her that she should forget all about the incident and go on with her life, because ‘people come up missing all the time in the Valley,'” the complaint states, referring to the Rio Grande Valley and its reputation for violence stemming from illicit drug commerce.
The woman has sued Peralez, the City of La Joya, the city’s current and former police chiefs, the city administrator, and other La Joya police officers, as well as the city of nearby Peñitas, its police chief, and two police officers. Geovani Hernandez, La Joya’s police chief at the time, and city administrator Mike Alaniz discussed the rape on May 30, 2014, the complaint says. Garza informed her police chief, Roel Bermea, but no one attempted to take the assaulted woman to a hospital, the lawsuit says.