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Bastrop County grand jury doesn’t indict employee at heart of sex abuse allegations 

Photo courtesy of The Refuge Ranch.
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Despite a scandal that rocked Texas causing state legislative hearings, no charges will be filed against the alleged perpetrator.

A grand jury in Bastrop County could not find enough evidence to indict Iesha Greene, a former employee at The Refuge for DMST (domestic minor sex trafficking), according to court records TPR reviewed on Thursday.

The Refuge had its license suspended when multiple accounts of sex abuse were reported to the state. Eleven girls were removed from the facility that treats child victims of sex trafficking in March, and early reports suggested sex trafficking of victims occurred. Investigators later said those allegations were overblown.
Greene was fired over allegations from two girls that she had given them drugs and then offered to sell nude photos of them to pay for additional drugs.

“The Grand Jury did not indict Iesha Greene, or any other person, for any offense(s). The Grand Jury did not find sufficient evidence to support an indictment on any criminal offense. The Sheriff's Office expects no further inquiry in this matter,” said Conor Brown, a Bastrop County Sheriff's investigator in a letter to The Refuge.

TPR reached out to Bastrop County Sheriff for additional comment but did not receive a comment prior to publication.

One of the alleged victims spoke to TPR on the condition that her real name would not be used. TPR will call her Abby.

She said the outcome was sadly unsurprising. “I'm not really surprised. I thought they were gonna try to cover that sh** up, honestly. Which is kind of what they are doing,” she said.

Abby voiced strong concern about the way the investigation was handled. She said she was threatened with a subpoena to speak with investigators who then interrogated her as though she were the perpetrator.

She and another girl confirmed the accounts that Greene gave them drugs and then offered to sell the nude photos. It wasn't clear if any of them ended up being sold.

Allegations that a staff member of a facility to treat sex trafficking victims was in fact trafficking those victims and then shut down the facility for an indeterminate amount of time was explosive. A federal judge held an emergency hearing in which harsh criticism was directed at child welfare leaders.
“Do you have anything to say other than revulsion,” said federal Judge Janice Jack, who oversees federal court litigation in the matter at the hearing.

State lawmakers launched hearings, and the future of the facility has been under a cloud since girls were removed and it was closed more than 245 days ago.

It would later come out that Greene was fired by the Texas Juvenile Justice Department and was unable to work at a state residential facility.

Video surveillance revealed she had allowed youth at the Giddings State School (a secure detention center) to use her computer. The teenage boys printed off pornography.

Despite a finding by TJJD of sexual abuse without contact, it was not referred for criminal action and did not show up on a criminal background check conducted by The Refuge.

The Refuge acknowledged it did not contact past employers and said it had added additional screening to its process after hiring consultants to advise.

State lawmakers questioned TJJD leaders about the loophole and indicated they would take it up in the next session.

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Copyright 2022 Texas Public Radio. To see more, visit Texas Public Radio.

Paul Flahive is the technology and entrepreneurship reporter for Texas Public Radio. He has worked in public media across the country, from Iowa City and Chicago to Anchorage and San Antonio.