A young African-American woman says she felt like she was raped when a sheriff’s deputy in Texas conducted a cavity search in a gas station parking lot after he suspected she was in possession of marijuana, CNN reports.
That woman, 21-year-old Charnesia Corley, says her constitutional protections were violated in the body search. The June 21 incident occurred after Corley was pulled over for allegedly running a stop sign in Harris County. Claiming he smelled marijuana, the deputy handcuffed Corley and put her in his vehicle to search her car. After searching for an hour with no results, the deputy, who once again said he smelled marijuana, called a female deputy to conduct the cavity search.
On Thursday, Corley spoke with CNN’s Don Lemon about the degrading experience, calling it “embarrassing.”
“They took me around to the side of my car, and she tells me, ‘Pull your pants down,’” Corley told CNN. Corley, who was handcuffed, said she told the female deputy that she didn’t have any underwear on. The female deputy replied that it didn’t matter, pulled Corley’s pants down and then told her to bend over, Corley told CNN.
“I bent over and she proceeded to stick her fingers in me, and I popped up immediately and I told her, ‘No! What are you doing? You can’t do that to me,’ she said. The deputy told her that she could do what she wanted because it was a narcotics search, according to Corley.
After Corley resisted, another female deputy was apparently called to complete the search. “I felt like they raped me,” Corley told CNN.
Corley’s attorney, Samuel Cammack III, called the cavity search “unconstitutional,” but a spokesperson for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said the deputies “did everything as they should.” They have refused to comment further on the incident, saying in a statement that they “anticipate that the office of Inspector General will share their findings with Sheriff Ron Hickman in accordance with state law and civil service procedures in the near future.”
The district attorney’s office has since dropped the two misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and possession of marijuana against Corley.
SOURCE: CNN | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty