Charneisha Corley, a college student in Houston, TX, area, was pulled over for a traffic stop in a Texaco gas station parking lot. Three female deputies from the Harris County Sheriff's Office stripped her naked, pushed her to her knees, jammed her head beneath her car, and forcibly pried her legs apart. They spent 11 minutes inspecting her vaginal area for marijuana. All of it caught on dashcam.
The deputies claimed that they never penetrated Corley, and that her clothes "fell off" on their own.
Corley's lawyer claimed the search was "rape by cop." After filing a civil rights lawsuit, Charneisha settled her case for $185,000.
Harris County Precinct One Commissioner Rodney Ellis called the incident a "tragedy" and gave the following statement:
On behalf of myself and the County and the taxpayers in Harris County, I want to say to Miss Corley, I apologize and it really was unfortunate. It was outrageous. I have three daughters, one who is about her age and if that happened to my daughter I'd use all the resources I could muster to try and get justice and send a signal out. Now how the County ended up settling it for this mere pittance, I don't know.
"I think that the fact that there was a settlement should clearly send out a signal that that type of behavior is not acceptable and if it does happen, if someone is willing to stand up, which was the case of Miss Corley, and fight it, that you can get some measure of justice," says Ellis, who was not serving as a commissioner at the time of the incident.via Fox 35 Orlando
Community activist Quanell X said the settlement sent a dangerous message.
"I think the powers that be are going to say to themselves, if we can do that, something so egregious as sexually assaulting a young woman on the side of the road, who did not deserve that, if we can do that and avoid prosecution and pay crumbs in a settlement, well why should we be concerned or be afraid of anything?," asks Quanell X.via Fox 35 Orlando
All three deputies still remain on the payroll of Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.