/ Modified jul 12, 2018 4:59 p.m.

Transgender Asylum Seeker Says She Was Sexually Assaulted in Detention

Nicol Garcia's lawyer says medical reports confirm she was attacked in the Cibola Detention Center in New Mexico.

Nicol closeup Nicol rests at a women shelter in Nogales, Sonora, after making a six-week trip to get to the U.S.-Mexico border. She plans to seek asylum.

We first met 22-year-old Dago Alberto Garcia Aguilar at a safe house in Nogales, Sonora. While Aguilar was born male, she identifies as a woman and goes by the name of Nicol.

Nicol made the treacherous trip to attempt to gain asylum in the U.S. after being brutally raped, beaten and left for dead in Honduras. She told us LGBTQ individuals are often targets of violence. She decided to leave after three transgender women she knew were killed.

Nicol was seeking safety through asylum in the U.S., but there has been a tragic turn in her story.

U.S. Immigration sent Nicol to the Cibola Detention Center in New Mexico to await her asylum hearing.

Her attorney, Christopher Frank, reports Nicol was raped and brutally attacked while in the detention center and he has the medical report.

"Absolutely, there is evidence of physical harm," said Frank. "Not only is her testimony detailed, there are bruises, scratches and damage, physical damage, that was treated at a medical institution. She spent two days in the hospital," he said.

Her attorney has filed for an immediate parole for Nicol to be released into the care of a nonprofit organization that will make sure she gets to all her court appearances. But he is not hopeful, because, to his knowledge, no immigration paroles have been granted during the Trump administration.

Hear more about Nicol's story: The Odds Facing Those Seeking Asylum in the US

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents. Arizona Public Media and AZPM are registered trademarks of the Arizona Board of Regents.
The University of Arizona