Drug Warriors Kidnap and Sexually Assault a Woman After Getting Permission From a Dog
Jacob Sullum Dec. 19, 2013 12:40 pm
In a case eerily similar to David Eckert's humiliating ordeal at the hands of cops in Deming, New Mexico, a federal lawsuit charges U.S. Border Patrol agents with subjecting a U.S. citizen to six hours of degrading and fruitless body cavity searches based on an alleged alert by a drug-sniffing dog.
First the agents strip-searched the plaintiff, examining her anus and vagina with a flashlight. Finding nothing, they took her to the University Medical Center of El Paso, where they forced her to take a laxative and produce a bowel movement in their presence. Again they found no evidence of contraband. At this point one of their accomplices, a physician named Christopher Cabanillas, ordered an X-ray, which likewise found nothing suspicious. Then the plaintiff "endured a forced gynecological exam" and rectal probing at the hands of another doctor, Michael Parsa. Still nothing. Finally, Cabanillas ordered a CT scan of the plaintiff's abdomen and pelvis, which found no sign of illegal drugs. "After the CT scan," the complaint says, "a CBP [Customs and Border Patrol] agent presented Ms. Doe with a choice: she could either sign a medical consent form, despite the fact that she had not consented, in which case CBP would pay for the cost of the searches; or if she refused to sign the consent form, she would be billed for the cost of the searches." She refused, and later the hospital sent her a bill for $5,000, apparently the going rate for sexual assault and gratuitous radiological bombardment.
During the car ride to the Medical Center, Ms. Doe asked if the agents had awarrant. One of them responded that they did not need a warrant....
Medical Center policy L-13 on searches by hospital personnel does not permit an invasion of a person’s body for purposes of a search without either consent or a search warrant. However, in practice, the Medical Center staff and CBP agents routinely conduct invasive cavity searches without a warrant, consent or sufficient suspicion to justify the searches. When Ms. Doe expressed dismay about the unreasonable searches she suffered, a Medical Center employee responded that these procedures were routinely followed when an individual is brought in by CBP agents. The employee also told Ms. Doe that what happened to her was not invasive.
Yaaaay for state sanctioned rape.