Prison teacher, 45, was ‘raped in classroom by inmate, 25’

A prison teacher has claimed she was raped by an inmate who allegedly hid behind a door in her classroom then attacked her when there were no guards around to intervene. 

Nicole Truelove, 45, identified herself on Thursday in a bid to bring her alleged attacker, who is 25, to justice. The man has been in prison since 2012 on a burglary and habitation charge.

He has not had charges brought against him for the rape despite her repeated complaints to authorities.  

Truelove, a mother-of-four, says he attacked her in retaliation because she told him off for touching himself in the class at the Ferguson Unit in Huntsville, Texas, in mid-November. 

Ms Truelove, who previously taught in high schools, had only been working in prisons for two months.

Nicole Truelove, 45, claims the inmate raped her after hiding in her prison classroom last month

She now plans to sue the prison system, claiming she was unprotected by guards who should have protected her. 

To her outrage, no charges have been brought against him. 

The Texas Department of Justice told that a criminal investigation was still ongoing and that it would be ‘improper’ to discuss the case while the probe is ongoing.

In mid-November, Ms. Truelove was teaching the class of 28 male inmates in the educational unit at the prison. 

During the class, she says she saw him touching himself and she reprimanded him.

After verbally disciplining him, she wrote a citation to later give to guards. 

Once the class had finished, the inmates were allowed out by a ‘trustee inmate’ – a prisoner who has been deemed responsible enough because of good behavior to take an authoritative position.

She says there were no guards on the floor that she was working on. 

After the inmates had been let out of the classroom, she went back inside and sat at her desk.  

That is when she claims he appeared from behind the door and attacked her.

‘I sat at my desk and reached out to pull my door closed, [x] was hiding behind my door.

‘He then began sexually assaulting me, at the same time he threatened myself and my children,’ she said at a press conference.

After the attack, the man allegedly walked out of the room leaving Truelove to crumple on the floor in shock.

She called for help and another teacher who was working nearby rushed in. 

Truelove was taken to hospital and underwent a rape kit but the results of that test have not yet been returned because of a backlog, her attorney told

She immediately reported the incident to prison staff and the inmate was transferred to another unit but no charges were brought.

Truelove said the attack happened at the Ferguson Unit in Huntsville, Texas 

Truelove said the attack happened at the Ferguson Unit in Huntsville, Texas 

Truelove spoke out this week to try to bring the man to justice. To her horror, no charges have been brought against him 

Truelove spoke out this week to try to bring the man to justice. To her horror, no charges have been brought against him 

Frustrated, she decided to speak out this week by announcing her claims at a press conference in front of the federal courthouse in downtown Houston where she plans to file a lawsuit against the Department of Corrections. 

‘Today I will stand up for change in the prison education departments for the teachers that feel led to educate inmates in hopes of giving them a chance at a new life upon their release,’ she said. 

Her attorney David Lindsay told that the pair planned to file action against the Department of Justice imminently.

He said the alleged attack was preventable and that the guards were not where they were supposed to be. 

None of the guards were close enough to protect her  

David Lindsay, Truelove’s attorney 

‘This is something that could have been avoided so easily by following basic precautions. 

‘The educational unit has two floors and there are six to eight classrooms per floor. 

‘The guards assigned were not in the hallway or in the classroom area where this occurred, they may have even been outside. 

‘None of them were close enough to protect her.’ 

Another class of the same size that was made up entirely of male inmates was released at the same time as Ms. Truelove’s, he added. 

Lindsay described this as a dangerous breach of protocol which presents an opportunity for inmates to overrun the outnumbered teachers. 

As the nearly 60 men were being let out of their class, the only staff there was Ms. Truelove and one other female teacher. 

‘She still has friends who teach in this unit,’ Lindsay added, explaining that his client was concerned for the safety of other prison teachers across the country. 

When questioned, the Department of Justice refused to confirm what measures had been taken to inform staff at the man’s new prison – the Allred Unit – of the investigation into Ms. Truelove’s claims.

‘There is an ongoing criminal case being conducted by the TDCJ Office of Inspector General, and it would be improper to discuss specifics of the case.

‘The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is also conducting an internal review which will take a comprehensive look at the events surrounding the incident. The review is ongoing,’ a spokesman said. 

They confirmed Ms. Truelove’s earlier statement that three guards had been ‘assigned’ to the educational unit, adding: ‘The staffing plan was followed.’ 

They made no mention of the alleged rape but said: ‘Offender sexual misbehavior such as masturbation is not tolerated. 

‘If the staff is made aware of inappropriate activity in a classroom or anywhere else, the department will take immediate action.’