DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – CBS-11 has learned two state troopers involved in a controversial roadside cavity search of two North Texas women have been indicted on criminal charges by a Dallas County Grand Jury.
CBS-11 has learned that one of the troopers, Kelley Helleson, who left the courthouse after testifying Friday, is charged with two counts of sexual assault and two counts of official oppression.
She was seen on dashcam video searching the body cavities – front and back – of the two women along an exit ramp of the Bush Turnpike in Irving last summer.
The Texas Department of Public Safety fired Helleson.
CBS-11 has learned the other trooper in the case, David Farrell, is charged with theft after one of the women said her prescription bottle of the painkiller hydrocodone was missing after the search.
Farrell initially stopped the women after seeing them throw a cigarette out of their car window.
- Angel Dobbs, 38, and niece Ashley Dobbs, 24, were pulled over on State Highway 161 near Irving, Texas
- Trooper searched car for marijuana before requesting invasive cavity search
- Older woman claims search by trooper Kellie Helleson irritated an anal cyst she was suffering causing ‘severe pain and discomfort’
- Also suing the Texas Department of Public Safety for failing to act on previous complaints about ‘violating’ searches
Two Texas women are suing after state troopers subjected them to a humiliating and invasive ‘roadside body cavity search‘ that was caught on video.
Female trooper Kellie Helleson is seen in the footage aggressively searching the private parts of Angel Dobbs, 38, and her niece, Ashley Dobbs, 24, in front of passing cars.
The women, who claim the trooper used the same rubber glove for both of them, were initially stopped by Helleson’s colleague David Farrell on State Highway 161 near Irving after he saw one of them throw a cigarette butt out the window.
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Invasive: Female trooper Kellie Helleson, left, aggressively searched their private parts
Farrell can be heard in the disturbing video questioning the pair about marijuana though he failed to find any evidence of the drug in the vehicle.
However, he requested the women be searches after allegedly claiming they were ‘acting weird.’
The lawsuit states he then tried to ‘morph this situation into a DWI investigation,’ according to the Dallas Morning News.
Angel Dobbs passed a roadside sobriety test and the women were given warnings for littering.
Pulled over: The women were initially stopped by Helleson’s colleague David Farrell on State Highway 161 near Irving, Texas
Angel Dobbs said Helleson irritated an anal cyst she suffers from during the search, causing her ‘severe and continuing pain and discomfort.’
The suit said: ‘Angel Dobbs was overwhelmed with emotion and a feeling of helplessness and reacted stating that Helleson had just violated her in a most horrific manner.’
The two women are also suing the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Steven McCraw, who they claim ignored previous complaints about ‘unlawful strip searches, cavity searches and the like.’
Lawsuit: The women are also suing the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety for ignoring prior complaints about searches
The Dobbs’ lawyer Scott H. Palmer said the shocking incident, which was filmed on one of the trooper’s dash-mounted cameras, was a roadside ‘sexual assault.’
He said the Texas Rangers investigated his clients’ complaints but failed to take any action against the troopers.
‘You can see what’s happening clearly,’ he told the Dallas Morning News of the video. ‘No one’s ever seen the likes of this. We can’t let them get away with it.’
NRA sees rise in membership after Connecticut school shooting
The National Rifle Association, while staying mostly quiet in the immediate aftermath of the mass shooting in Connecticut, has registered an average of 8,000 new members a day since the tragedy, an NRA source told Fox News.
While this broadly aligns with trends seen after similar incidents in the past, the surge in membership this time is said to dwarf past trends.
The source, based on his access to an internal memo prepared by the organization’s membership division, said both the number of individual contributions to the NRA and their average amount have risen significantly in this period.
Amid the uptick, the NRA is planning what it describes as a “major” news conference on Friday. In its first public statement since last week’s shooting, issued Tuesday by an aide to NRA President Wayne LaPierre, the organization also conveyed condolences to the murder victims’ families and expressed the group’s willingness to offer “meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.”
“The National Rifle Association of America is made up of four million moms and dads, sons and daughters — and we were shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown,” the statement said on Tuesday.
“Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting.”
Sources close to the issue had earlier alerted Fox News that the National Rifle Association would soon start to “push back” against gun-control proponents.
Following the shooting at the Connecticut elementary school, gun-control advocates immediately launched a campaign to pressure Congress and the Obama administration into enacting stricter regulation of guns and rifles.
These forces — led by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. — initially faced little resistance from the NRA, though conservatives questioned the value of the proposed measures.
The NRA news conference on Friday could alter the debate landscape. It also comes as President Obama on Wednesday announced a new administration task force, led by Vice President Biden, to examine policy proposals to reduce gun violence.
Though the task force was given a broad mandate, Obama made clear that the group would focus in large part on gun control. The president said he expects “concrete” proposals on his desk by January.