Female Visiting Inmate Assaulted By Prison Guard

A Texas prison guard has resigned after a woman visiting an inmate at the Glen Ray Goodman prison in Jasper, Texas was sexually assaulted.

Sylvia Hidalgo has been visiting the unit almost every weekend. On one of her visits, Texas Department of Criminal Justice corrections officer Joe Cunningham touched her inappropriately while searching her vehicle upon entering the grounds.

Hidalgo stated that she was shocked that someone of authority would have done something like that. On her next visit, Cunningham fondled her again but this time Hidalgo secretly recorded the incident with her cell phone.

The video shows Cunningham’s hand going down her shirt. She said she remembers him putting his fingers over his mouth saying for her not to say anything. He was telling her to be quiet while he is sexually assaulting her stating that if she said anything things could be bad for her fiancé.

Community activist Quanell X said, “She was very terrified that something would happen if she came forward and told the truth.”

“That is the typical language that a sexual assault abuser uses trying to redirect and blame to the victim,” said Quanell X.

TDCJ released a statement:

“When allegations of wrongdoing were presented to TDCJ a disciplinary investigation began.
When presented with the allegation Joe Cunningham resigned his position as a correctional officer. All information that had been gathered at that point was passed to the independent Office of Inspector General for criminal investigation.”

Cunningham has not yet been indicted on sexual assault and is allowed to keep his pension.

A TDCJ spokesman said the case has been turned over to the Office of the Inspector General and that the guard has resigned.

Hildago’s fiancé was release Wednesday and that is why she is now speaking out.

Quanell is convinced there could be other people Cunningham has fondled and is asking for anyone who has been victimized to please step forward.

About the Author

Lawyer X
Lawyer X is the pen name of a former attorney who now spends all of his time writing and consulting. While in practice he was involved in both criminal and civil trials across the United States, including picking or helping to pick juries in hundreds of civil and criminal cases. In addition to his work as a trial lawyer, Lawyer X wrote articles, lectured at continuing legal education seminars, and was active in the legal community in many ways. He maintains anonymity now so that he can provide knowledge from inside and express honest opinions and viewpoints that other members of the legal community would just as soon weren't shared.