Woman Sexually Assaulted by Family Court Marshal – A Reason All Courts Should be Videotaped

Monica Contreras was sexually assaulted following a hearing in her divorce case. In August of 2011, Marshal Ron Fox sexually assaulted this mother in the Clark CouMonica-Contreras-groping_2011nty Courthouse. Then he arrested her and had her child taken.

This is not a new story but one that is relevant for raising right now while legislators are deciding what bills need to go before the committees for consideration in many of the states throughout the U.S.

This story is a good example of why all family court proceedings should be videotaped. There is no doubt that there are many more abuses happening that are going unprosecuted.

This claim most likely would have been ignored or dismissed by the investigating bodies if there was no video proof. But instead probably in large part because of this video showing the mother immediately reporting the incident, the mother won $200,000 in damages for the abuse that she suffered.

Patricia Doninger, the hearing master, never reported Monica’s complaint to internal affairs despite the mother reporting this to her. “Judge Patricia Doninger was a domestic violence commissioner and hearing master for the Family Court in Clark County, Nevada. She became a domestic violence commissioner in late 1998/early 1999. She was fired on June 14, 2013, following allegations of misconduct that gained national attention.”

Two months later, after Monica reports this to the Marshal Internal Affairs, the Marshal was fired.

The Hearing Master, Patricia Doninger, was also let go. It is important to note here that if Patricia had been a regular judge and was an elected official it would have been much more difficult to get rid of her.

“On April 5, 2013, Contreras filed a federal lawsuit against Fox, Kenyon and Doninger, as well as Clark County, the state of Nevada and the courts, saying that her civil rights were violated. The complaint states: “The wrongful conduct of defendant Fox was intentional and evilly motivated, and the wrongful conduct of defendants Kenyon and Doninger involved reckless, callous and deliberate indifference to plaintiff’s federally protected rights.” (fourwinds10.com)

Channel 8, I-Team reports that there are numerous incidents like this never reported to internal affairs. The other one that prompted these investigations was a woman who claimed to be choked by a Marshal while in a holding cell in 2013.

Internal affairs conducted investigations of multiple court personnel after this incident, including the supervisor of the Family Court Marshals, Steve Rushfield. Rushfield was accused of trying to cover up both incidents.

Gov. Brian Sandoval, a member of the Board of Examiners, was told the attorneys fees to defend the cases filed against the District Court already total more than $170,000.

It was estimated that taking the federal case to trial would cost an additional $225,000 in defense costs.