Texas Says It Will Ignore Rules Designed to Prevent Rape of Minors in Prisons
On June 14, 2005, Texas mother Linda Bruntmyer went before the Congressional Prison Rape Elimination Commission in Washington, D.C., and told the story of her son, Rodney Hulin, and his untimely death. Rodney was only 16, a waif of a boy at 5’2” and 125 pounds, when he was convicted of setting a trash can on fire in Brazoria County, Texas, that caused $500 worth of damage. The judge decided to make an example of him, and he was sentenced to eight years in an adult prison. His small stature made him an easy target for the hardened convicts, and almost immediately after entering the system, Rodney was raped by another prisoner.
After the assault, while her son healed in the prison hospital, Bruntmyer was in constant contact with the prison warden, begging him to protect her son, to segregate him from the general population. Her cries went unheeded.
“The warden said Rodney needed to grow up,” Bruntmyer testified. “He said, ‘This happens every day; learn to deal with it. It’s no big deal.’ “
Rodney was put back in with grown men and was subsequently beaten and raped, again and again. After less than a year of this torture, he committed suicide, hanging himself in his cell.