Irving women sue state troopers in federal court, alleging roadside body cavity searches

by KEVIN KRAUSE, DallasNews.com  |  published on December 20, 2012

Texas cavity search

Two Irving women are suing two state troopers and the head of their department in federal court, alleging they were subjected to an illegal and humiliating “roadside body cavity search” during a traffic stop.

Angel Dobbs, 38, and her niece Ashley Dobbs, 24, said the search occurred on State Highway 161 in or near Irving on the night of July 13.

They say in the federal civil rights lawsuit that a female trooper, Kelley Helleson, used her fingers to conduct the cavity searches — using the same latex glove — while on the side of the road in full view of passing vehicles.

Department of Public Safety officials could not be reached for comment.

Scott Palmer, an attorney for the women, said the entire incident was videotaped with one of the troopers’ dash-mounted cameras.

“You can see what’s happening clearly,” he said.
Palmer said the searches were basically a “sexual assau
lt” on the side of the road.
“No one’s ever seen the likes of this,” he said. “We can’t let them get away with it.”

The women said state trooper David Farrell called Helleson to the scene after stopping the women’s vehicle and questioning them about marijuana. Farrell told them he stopped them after seeing them throw cigarette butts out of the window, according to the lawsuit, which is seeking unspecified damages.

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