Judge rules woman can pursue 'U visa'

Judge rules woman can pursue 'U visa'

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NASHVILLE (AP) - A federal judge has ruled that a Nashville woman who won a civil lawsuit against the Davidson County Sheriff's Office for being shackled by deputies during labor can pursue a visa reserved for crime victims.

U.S. District Judge William Haynes Jr. issued his ruling on Thursday in the case of Juana Villegas, who was arrested in July 2008 on a minor traffic violation. The charges were later dropped, and a jury awarded her $200,000 in damages.

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

In his ruling, Haynes said Villegas has met a minimum burden for a "U visa."

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service will have the final say as to whether she should get one.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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