SAN ANTONIO — A former dormitory director who lived in a high-rise apartment in San Antonio says she saw her former students being forced to live with her, and she is angry that the city is allowing the same kind of abuse to continue.
Maribel M. Lopez says she lived in the four-bedroom apartment at the center of the investigation and has been trying to help others who have suffered sexual assault and other violence at the apartment complex.
“We are not alone,” Lopez said Tuesday.
“We are all victims.”
The City of San Antonio, which owns the property, is under fire for its handling of the case, which involves allegations of sexual assault against several students and staff.
City officials say the allegations are false, and the students and their families have been notified.
But Lopez says the students were being forced out of the dorms when they moved in, and that there is no way the apartment is safe for people who want to live there.
The allegations against the students have not been proven in court, and Lopez says they did not receive counseling.
She says she is frustrated that no one is being held accountable, even though the city has a duty to protect the residents of the apartments, who are also housed in a public housing complex.
The women who live in the dormitories are being held in jail without bond.
They were released on bond but were ordered to wear a GPS tracking device in their jail cells, and they have been barred from communicating with family or friends outside of jail.
The city has defended its handling and has said it has taken steps to make sure the dormitory is safe.
But the city also has a long history of housing people who have lived in apartments at risk of sexual abuse.
The city is also under investigation for failing to properly train police officers on how to handle sexual assault.
“I just don’t understand why we’re having a situation where we’re trying to figure out how we’re going to protect ourselves from a crime we didn’t commit,” Lopez told reporters.
“I just feel that this is so egregious and it’s so egregious that there’s no way we’re gonna do anything about it.”
The city of San Antoneres said the women were charged with crimes that occurred before they moved into the apartment complexes, and a judge set bail for each at $1 million.
A second woman who was charged with a sex crime is scheduled to appear in court in March.
The third woman charged with sex crimes is still awaiting trial.
The City has released a statement saying it has done everything it can to make accommodations for the victims and their family.
But, the statement said, the city “remains committed to providing the best possible care to residents in its residential communities and remains committed to conducting thorough investigations to ensure that all victims and those at risk are treated in a respectful and humane manner.”
The San Antonio Police Department is also investigating.
The department said in a statement that it is investigating and that the department has taken the steps outlined in the statement to ensure the safety of residents and their guests at the complex.