SAN DIEGO — A case manager at the Otay Mesa Detention Facility in South Bay is suspected of having sexual relations with a detainee.
According to U.S. Attorney Andrew Haden’s office Thursday, 36-year-old Shantal Hernandez — an employee of the Office of the Immigration Detention Ombudsman (OIDO) — is being charged in a now unsealed complaint.
The complaint revealed that agents with the Office of Professional Responsibility (ICE OPR) received information that Hernandez had allegedly been spending an “unusual” amount of time with a detainee — identified in court documents by the initials I.K.N.
The attorney’s office says ICE OPR obtained phone records from the detention facility. Based on the records, the office determined that I.K.N. and Hernandez engaged in a significant number of sexually explicit phone calls and electronic communications — some of which allegedly discussed an ongoing relationship and sex acts.
“Hernandez’s main purpose as a DHS OIDO case manager was to promote safe and humane conditions within immigration detention,” said Jeffrey Gilgallon, special agent in charge for the OPR. “However, she allegedly abandoned that oversight role, instead using her position to engage in prohibited sexual activity with an ICE detainee in one of our detention facilities.”
Hernandez made her initial federal court appearance Thursday afternoon and is scheduled to reappear in court on Aug. 15 at 10 a.m. for a detention hearing.
“The alleged conduct cannot and will not be tolerated,” said U.S. Attorney Haden. “Those in a position of authority over immigration detainees must be held to the highest standard.”