I-Team: Cover-Up Alleged in Clark County Family Court - 8 News NOW

I-Team: Cover-Up Alleged in Family Court

Posted: Updated:
Monica Contreras talks with I-Team reporter Nathan Baca. Monica Contreras talks with I-Team reporter Nathan Baca.
Monica Contreras Pleads for help in family court. Monica Contreras Pleads for help in family court.

LAS VEGAS -- Multiple employees and managers at the Clark County family court are under investigation for allegedly covering up a sexual assault by a court marshal.

The I-Team has uncovered video showing a woman claiming a court marshal sexually assaulted her. She was later arrested by that same marshal. The marshal has since been fired.

The I-Teams investigation shows how the internal affairs investigation is revealing much larger problems at family court.

There are multiple marshals involved and allegations ranging from sexual assaults to choking a citizen in court. The investigation began with a 2011 video that shows family court marshals arresting a woman because she claimed one of them sexually assaulted her.

Monica Contreras went to family court with her 2-year-old daughter in August 2011. She was in the courtroom only a few minutes on a routine divorce case. Her husband filed for a Temporary Restraining Order against her during their divorce. He never showed up in court so the order was denied.

 According to internal court documents, as Contreras was leaving, family court marshal Ron Fox ordered her into a waiting room for an unexplained drug search.

Contreras said Fox touched her buttocks, breast, and ordered her to lift up her shirt. A later internal investigation by Clark County courts validated her claims. Contreras went back into the same courtroom and told hearing master Patricia Donninger that her requests to have a female marshal handle the search were ignored.

"I think I'd rather have a female in here and he went anyway. I was just offended by it. I'm just offended that he asked me," an upset Contreras told Donninger, who did not respond to her.

The video shows Marshal James Kenyon preparing to arrest Contreras. She can be heard pleading with him.

"For what, sir? Why would I be arrested? Can you please tell me?"

Marshal Kenyon is heard telling Contreras to turn around and put her hands behind her back. As Contreras continues to ask why she is being arrested, marshal Ron Fox replies.

"Because of false allegations made against a police officer," he told her.

The I-Team could find no law that would support the arrest. It is also highly unlikely a sexual assault victim would be placed under arrest by the alleged assaulter.

After repeated attempts by the marshals to get Contreras to recant her story, she breaks down.

"Let me go. It was all lies. I don't want to deal with anything. It was all lies. All lies. All lies. All lies. Please stop," she said.

Fox tells Contreras the only way she can avoid jail is to step up to the microphone and recant. Contreras agrees, but does the opposite.

"You put me in a room. You asked me to lift up my shirt without a witness," Contreras said into the microphone.

At that point, Fox replied, "OK, take her to jail."

For four minutes, Contreras pleaded to hearing master Patricia Donninger to listen to her, but Donninger never acknowledged Contreras, instead she talked and played with Contreras's daughter.

"How can you do this to me? How can you watch?" Contreras pleaded.

Contreras kisses her daughter before being sent to jail. Her young daughter was sent to Child Haven. Two months later, Contreras filed a complaint with Court Marshal Internal Affairs.

Sources tell the I-Team, investigators were shocked they had not heard of the alleged courthouse sexual assault from family court Lt. Steve Rushfield. After a six-month internal affairs investigation, Fox was fired.

Nobody from Clark County courts told Contreras that her claims were validated. She only recently found out from the I-Team.

Contreras asked that we blur her face.

"I just hope I did the right thing by telling internal affairs," Contreras said. "It makes me feel good because now I know that I was right."

Clark County court administration released a statement reading: "Court personnel are prohibited from commenting on the video because it's a personnel matter. When the actions of any district court employee are called into question, the court immediately responds by conducting a fair, thorough investigation and, upon completion, taking appropriate action."

Even though Fox was fired, sources tell the I-Team, Clark County courts are widening their investigation into why this incident, and a growing number of assault allegations, were never reported by family court management to internal affairs.

Fox maintains his innocence and is suing Clark County for wrongful termination. His attorney declined an on-camera interview but claims the marshal's arrest was legal because nobody in the courtroom tried to stop him.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KLAS. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.