Woman suing four DPS troopers over search

By Ryan Korsgard - Reporter

BRAZORIA COUNTY, Texas - A woman says she was invasively searched on the side of a road during a traffic stop.

Jennifer Stelly and her boyfriend Channing Castex were driving to Surfside Beach when they said they were pulled over for speeding in Brazoria County in March  2013.

Castex said he was handcuffed and put into a patrol car after he admitted to a state trooper that he had smoked marijuana. A female state trooper was called to search Stelly in full view of a dash-mounted camera.

"She started going into my clothing and she penetrated areas that I don't wish to disclose at this point," Stelly said. "I was scared. I was violated. I didn't know what to do."

Stelly said the full, invasive cavity search happened on a busy freeway as people sped by. She said the troopers were checking for drugs hidden on or in her body.

"I was afraid for one," she said. "But more than afraid, I was publicly humiliated. I was violated in daylight."

She said the trooper found nothing. Castex said he protested from the backseat of the patrol car.

"I was thinking that was wrong," Castex said. I was telling them stop this. Not right. You shouldn't be doing this."

Stelly has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Texas Department of Public Safety, its director and four state troopers -- including the same trooper involved in two roadside cavity searches two years ago. The suit claims Stelly's constitutional rights were violated.

"It's not right for you to sexually violate someone," attorney Allie Booker said. "There is no clause in the constitution or any other law that allows you to do that so they need to be fired."

Booker said the cavity search case from two years ago has been settled with the state. However, she says the case against Brazoria County continues.

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