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Regional & National

Woman shackled during labor seeks special visa

September 2nd, 2011 12:13 pm by Staff Report

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Nashville woman who won a civil lawsuit against the Davidson County Sheriff's Office for being shackled by deputies during labor is seeking a visa reserved for crime victims.

A jury last month awarded $200,000 in damages to Juana Villegas, who was arrested in July 2008 on a minor traffic violation. The charges were later dropped.

Villegas testified that her wrists and ankles were bound during an ambulance ride from the jail to the hospital.

The Tennessean reports Villegas' attorney has filed a motion asking a judge to certify her application for a "U visa," which was created to protect residents who are crime victims and may not report crimes for fear of deportation (http://bit.ly/olijNH).

Elliott Ozment argues that the sheriff's office's actions constitute crimes like kidnapping and torture.

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Information from: The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com

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