Friday, September 30, 2005
TX -A mentally ill woman was sexually assaulted Wednesday after workers at the Williamson County Jail mistakenly released her from custody, authorities said.
Detective John Foster, a spokesman for the Williamson County Sheriff's Department, said the 27-year-old woman was arrested Saturday and accused of assaulting her sister. Because she was obviously mentally ill, authorities dropped the charges against her and ordered her committed to a mental hospital, Foster said.
On Wednesday, jailers got the message that charges had been dropped and released her just minutes before hearing that she was supposed to go to a mental hospital, Foster said. When the blunder was discovered, jail workers went searching for the woman. They found her four hours later wandering around Scenic Drive near the jail and Blue Hole in Georgetown. She had been raped, Foster said.
"This mistake was human error," Foster said. "There is no excuse for this. The jailer that made this mistake feels awful."
Foster said seven detectives are canvassing the area to look for clues that will help them track down the woman's attacker. They are asking anyone who might have seen a white female talking to someone or getting in a car in the area around Scenic Drive to call the sheriff's department at (512) 943-1300.