Texas women file lawsuit after DPS body search

Published On: Dec 18 2012 05:34:46 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 18 2012 06:15:49 PM CST
CARROLLTON, Texas -

Two Texas women filed a lawsuit after a DPS trooper conducted a cavity search on the side of a freeway.

Dash cam video shows female trooper Kelley Helleson's gloved hands plunging into the pants of Angel Dobbs, right in front of other vehicles passing on the highway exit ramp.

Dobbs and her niece, Ashley, said they went public with their story to save other women from what happened to them.

"I've never been so humiliated or so violated or felt so molested in my entire life," Dobbs said.

"This is outside the constitutional grounds by a mile. It's not even close," said Scott Palmer, the women's attorney.

The women said trooper David Ferrell pulled them over after a cigarette fell from their car. Then he claimed to smell marijuana that was never found.

"What are you going to say? What's going to happen to you if you challenge that authority?" Dobbs said.

Dobbs said her invasive search happened next to her 24-year-old niece. They said the female trooper used the same gloves for both women's searches.

"I don't think anybody needs to have or feel or go through what we went through," Dobbs said.

Dobbs said a bottle of prescription pain killer medicine was missing from her purse after the incident.

The father of one of their lawyers was a trooper himself.

"But in this instance, they have completely failed the citizens of Texas," said Charles Soechting, the women's attorney.

The lawyer said the DPS Texas Rangers investigated the July incident but did nothing.

"What we're dealing with here is a Class C misdemeanor. It does not justify any type of pat-down, let alone an invasive search of cavities of women," Soechting said.

"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," Palmer said.

The lawyers said an open records request found that the DPS does not have a policy for body searches in public. Calls to the DPS for the troopers' side of the story were not returned.

The woman are requesting a jury trial, asking for damages as well as attorney fees and court costs.