published Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Woman in Nashville testifies about being shackled while in labor to deliver child

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A woman who was shackled during labor while in custody has testified she was afraid she would be unable to deliver the child.

Juana Villegas told a federal jury in Nashville today that her wrists and ankles were shackled in an ambulance in 2008 and she feared she would not be able to open her legs to allow her son to be born.

The jury will decide what damages to award her.

Villegas’ attorneys argue that she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and other problems and will need years of therapy to recover.

Attorneys for Metro Nashville, the defendant, claim Villegas’ anxiety is the result of fear of being separated from her family. She is from Mexico.

The child was born without complications.

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