Former Texas state trooper Kelly Helleson, who was fired for performing an illegal cavity search on two women, has pleaded guilty to two counts of official oppression. The charges against her for sexual assault have been dismissed.
The plea comes nearly two years after Helleson was caught on dashcam video performing the illegal cavity search wherein she put on a pair of latex gloves and used her fingers to search the vaginas and anuses of both women. Helleson used the same pair of gloves on both women.
The two women, Angel Dobbs and her niece, Ashley Dobbs, had been pulled over for throwing cigarette butts out of their car window. Helleson’s partner, state trooper David Farrell, claimed he smelled marijuana in the car prompting the search of the vehicle. No drugs were found, but Farrell wanted the women to be searched regardless, and that is when Helleson performed the cavity search instead of the standard pat down.
The search took place on the side of State Highway 161, in plain view of passing cars.
Helleson was sued by both women for her actions. A settlement was reached in the amount of $185,000.
But Helleson denies that she performed a cavity search on the two women, reports the Daily Mail.
“At no time did I ever stick my finger inside any part of anyone's body - that never happened,” Helleson stated in court.
Helleson had originally been charged with sexual assault and two charges of official oppression. Her plea bargain in the case had the sexual assault charges dropped, reports CBS DFW. She will serve two years of probation for the official oppression charges, a class A misdemeanor, and pay a $2,000 fine.
“I am sorry for any pain my actions have caused. I never in my life purposely hurt anyone,” Helleson read from her statement on the witness stand.
Angel Dobbs also took the stand in court.
“I know I’m not the only victim. I know my niece is not the only victim.I know that there’s other dashcams of her victimizing other people. To me, that’s not a cop, that’s a predator,” Angel Dobbs said.
Prosecutor Russell Wilson said after the hearing that other dashcam videos of Helleson acting inappropriately have been uncovered.
“We do believe there have been other invasive body searches conducted. None of them have we found prosecutable at this point,” Wilson said.
The Texas Department of Public Safety has since reemphasized its policy in writing wherein cavity searches are prohibited without a warrant.