Skip to comments.Former Trooper Indicted in Roadside Cavity Search [VIDEO]
Posted on 03/26/2013 1:52:58 PM PDT by Third Person
The female Texas trooper who performed a roadside cavity search on two Irving women has been indicted by a Dallas County grand jury.
The two women from Irving are suing Trooper David Farrell, Trooper Kelley Helleson and the director of the Department of Public Safety for what they call an unconstitutional search without probable cause.
The Department of Public Safety terminated Trooper Kelly Helleson. Dallas County District Attorney spokeswoman Debbie Denmon confirmed on Monday that a grand jury indicted Helleson on two counts of sexual assault and two counts of official oppression.
NBC 5 contacted Helleson's attorney for comment. "The charged against my client are untrue," said Bob Baskett. Helleson is currently appealing her DPS termination.
Denmon said Farrell was indicted on a theft charge. The DPS put Farrell on paid suspension after the incident.
On July 13, while driving along State Highway 161, Angel Dobbs and her niece Ashley Dobbs were stopped for littering by Farrell. In the dashcam video released by the women and their attorney, Farrell can be heard telling the women they would both be cited for littering for throwing cigarette butts out of the car.
Farrell then returned to his cruiser and, in the video, can be heard calling female Trooper Helleson to the scene to search both women whom he said were acting weird.
While waiting for Helleson to arrive, Farrell asked Angel Dobbs to step out of the vehicle and began questioning her about marijuana use. In the video, the trooper is heard telling Dobbs he smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle while asking her several times how much pot was in the car.
After Helleson arrived, she can be seen in the dashcam video putting on blue latex gloves to conduct a search of both women. According to the lawsuit, when Angel Dobbs asked about the gloves, Helleson "told her not to worry about that."
In the lawsuit, Dobbs said the trooper conducted the cavity search on the roadside, illuminated by the police car's headlights, in full view of any passing motorists.
"This has been an eye-opening experience for me. I've never been pulled over, never searched like this. I was totally violated over there a few minutes ago... this is so embarrassing to me," Angel Dobbs said on the video.
"I've never been so humiliated or so violated or felt so molested in my entire life," Angel Dobbs told NBC 5.
Dobbs said she never gave consent for the trooper to "frisk, pat-down, search or otherwise touch her" and that she never gave consent for Farrell to search her vehicle -- which he can be seen doing in the dashcam video while the cavity search was under way.
Dobbs said she was powerless to stop it. "What are you going to say? What's going to happen to you if you challenge that authority?" she said.
With the cavity search concluded, Farrell then asked Dobbs about prescription medications found in the car. Dobbs said they were for her thyroid and for migraines. According to the lawsuit, Dobbs also suffers from a medical condition that was irritated by the search.
Meanwhile, Helleson can then be seen performing the same cavity search on Dobbs' niece, Ashley.
"It's because somebody is a daily smoker in that car. OK, you can attribute it to that," Farrell can be heard saying on the recording.
The lawsuit further alleges that Helleson performed searches on both women, touching both their anus and vaginas, without changing the latex gloves between searches.
"I don't think anybody needs to have to feel, or go through what we went through," Ashley Dobbs said. "It crosses my mind every day. It's humiliating," she said.
After searching the entire car and finding no narcotics, Farrell then administered a DWI test that Dobbs passed, the lawsuit said. The women were then issued warnings for littering and released at the scene.
The lawsuit goes on to say that a bottle of prescribed hydrocodone was missing from Dobbs' car and purse after the search. The women returned to the scene of the traffic stop the next day to search for the medication, but it was nowhere to be found.
Their lawyers say the search was illegal and a complaint about it was filed in August but that DPS Texas Rangers who investigated the incident took no action.
"This is outside the constitutional grounds by a mile. It's not even close," attorney Scott Palmer said. "This has to stop. These two need to be stopped. There's no telling how many other people they've done this to and we hope that others come forward."
Attorney Charles Soechting Jr. said his father was a DPS trooper and he has great respect for the agency. "But in this instance they have completely failed the citizens of Texas," Soechting said.
Soechting said a records request to DPS produced no policy that allows for cavity search of any suspect in public.
"What we're dealing with is a Class C misdemeanor. It does not justify any type of pat-down, let alone an invasive search of cavities of women," he said.
DPS has not commented on the case.
The women are requesting a trial by jury and are asking for unspecified, compensatory and exemplary damages and interest as well as recovery of attorney's fees and court costs.
NBC 5's Frank Heinz and Ken Kalthoff contributed to this article.
Or else they’ll just go join some local pigs and be right back at it again.
Looks like they thought they had stopped common peasant women but stepped in influential money instead.
The fact that these gestapo freaks of nature are not behind bars with no bail is a travesty of justice. How can this even come close to happening? Sick and evil mofos.
Most likely the TSA was trained by the same Federal “anti-terrorist” animals who trained these perverts.
DHS has nationalized the police via terrorist training. I am working on a letter to Perry. We need to train officers to obey the constitution and dignity of citizens.
I know Scotty, the lawyer in this case (a friend of the wife), and I can think of no one better to stick it to these two donut-fueled ticket monkeys.
If this goes to trail, and the case goes Scotty’s way, which I’m almost certain it will, he will have those hopefully ex-troopers cleaning toilets for the rest of their miserable lives just to earn a paycheck to pay off the judgement.
In the end, we are likely to be told that the police can get away with rape.
If it weren't for the badges, these two would be charged as sex offenders.
This would have never made the news if they were anything other than uber-privileged white women. Nonetheless the outrage should not be directed at the troopers but rather the drug war itself. To support the drug war is support for the continued erosion of our privacy and civil rights.
How many years in a Texas prison would you do if you pulled two women off on the side of the road and shoved your hand up their vaginas and rectums?
Nothing good can ever come from that.
Contrary to what you see on TV, they don't have to tell you that.
And that "search" of the vehicle will not be deemed a "search". It will be an "inventory" of the vehicle's contents pending a forcible tow to an impound lot.
Thank MADD and the War On (some) Drugs.
Sorry, I missed the "/sarc" tag.
Were ANY of us guilty of doing this we’d be in jail til convicted as a sex offender and spend much time in prison. Once out we’d be treated like leppers.
As it is cops they will not see a minutes time in any slammer.
I sure hope that you are as wrong as rain. I'm not holding my breath though.
Ewwww. I feel violated just watching the video!