Exclusive: Images of woman enduring HCSO body cavity search
HOUSTON (FOX 26) – If the images captured by dash cam video accurately portray the ordeal endured by Charneisha Corley, many in the community will question why two Harris County Deputies have been cleared of criminal charges and a third never charged at all.
It’s now been two years since a traffic stop triggered what Corley’s attorney calls sexual assault by police.
“A 21 year-old African-American, female, college student, had never had any criminal history never been in trouble,” said Sam Cammack, Corley’s attorney.
Still images obtained by FOX 26 show Corley in cuffs while deputies search her car.
“One of the officers on the tape, he was talking to a passenger who was already in custody in the officer’s car and you could hear him telling that individual ‘Oh we are going to find something, even if we have to put our hands on her’,” said Cammack.
And they did.
After a search of Corley’s clothing turned up nothing deputies decided to take their hunt deeper.
“This same officer body slammed Miss Corley, stuck her head underneath the vehicle and completely pulled her pants off, leaving her naked and exposed in that Texaco parking lot,” said Cammack.
Attorney Cammack says what happened next amounts to “rape by Cop”.
“They then took Miss Corley and placed both ankles behind her ears spread eagle position and started to search for something in Miss Corley’s cavity in her vaginal area,” said Cammack.
And according to the video, which Fox 26 has fully reviewed, the probing went on for at least 11 excruciating minutes before Corley was allowed to emerge from beneath the car and cover her naked body.
We asked Harris County prosecutor Natasha Sinclair if “cavity searching” suspects in public constitutes a criminal offense.
“No one in this office stands by the search the way it was conducted. No one condones that. No one thinks it’s appropriate. It should not have happened.
However bad decisions, bad judgment may not rise the level of a criminal offense,” said Sinclair.
Fox 26 has learned charges were dismissed against the deputies on August 4th, the very day the case was set for trial and within minutes rapidly re-presented to a grand jury, with what the DA’s office calls “new evidence” which must remain “secret”.
“There has been no new factual evidence to support dismissal of the case,” insisted Cammack.
“I feel terrible for what happened to Miss Corley. It should never have happened and unfortunately we are in the business of prosecuting criminal offenses and though it may not be criminal, it doesn’t mean she won’t receive justice,” said Sinclair.
The deputies involved remain on the HCSO force and may soon be released from administrative duty.
Cammack will release the full video on Monday and is calling for an independent prosecutor, one that does not work for Harris County which is being sued by Corely in Federal Court for violation of her civil rights.