David Eckert, the New Mexico man who was anally probed and forced to undergo a colonoscopy after police officers incorrectly assumed he had drugs in his rectum, found some justice following a court decision in his case.
According to medical records and a federal lawsuit, Deming police officers and Hidalgo County deputies suspected Eckert was concealing drugs after a routine traffic stop on Jan. 2, 2013.
They took him to a hospital outside of Hidalgo County, which violates a warrant.
U.S. News & World Report reported that no drugs were found by police or doctors at the Gila Regional Medical Center in Silver City, N.M. Eckert had to undergo two digital anal probes, three enema insertions and ended with a surgical colonoscopy.
Eckert filed a lawsuit against the City of Deming, Hidalgo County, the doctors, Gila Regional Medical Center and a deputy district attorney who signed off on warrants.
In December, Hidalgo County and the City of Deming reached a settlement set at $1.6 million.
"The gratifying aspect of this case is the media attention that it has gotten and the opportunity for discussions in the law enforcement and medical communities about how to deal with these opportunities and what to do with requests from law enforcement about medical exams for people in custody," Eckert's attorney Joseph Kennedy told KOB 4.
Hidalgo County will pay $650,000 and the City of Deming will pay $950,000.
There is no resolution with the hospital, its employees or the assistant district attorney, yet.
If they do not agree to take responsibility soon, a jury may have to decide on the case with these defendants, Kennedy says.
Eckert is speaking out for the first time regarding the case in a written statement:
"I feel that I got some justice as I think the settlement shows they were wrong to do what they did to me. I truly hope that no one will be treated like this ever again. I felt very helpless and alone on that night. My family and I hope that people understand that I don’t want my face linked with jokes related to anal probing. For this reason, I asked my attorneys to issue this statement in the hopes that the media will respect my privacy.”
Hidalgo County attorneys have collected about $55,000 in legal fees.