Officers Perform “5-hour Cavity Search” on Crying Woman Who Had Nothing Illegal: Report
A woman who states that she was forced to undergo a five-hour cavity search is now suing the officers who performed it.
Nothing illegal was found during the search, but the woman was evidently forced to insert her fingers into herself in the presence of the officers after they claimed to see a ‘plastic bag’ protruding from her vagina.
No bag was found.
The woman is suing the officers and is seeking punitive damages for assault. As part of the lawsuit, she is is requesting psychological records to be released on one of the officers who performed the “search.”
But the judge denied the request, stating that “…the Court finds not only that the Defendant’s psychotherapeutic records are privileged but that Plaintiff has not met her burden of establishing their relevance.”
A report from Charly Himmel at Courthouse News Service provides the background:
A federal judge refused to demand psychiatric records from a correction officer accused of carrying out a five-hour cavity search.
Kimberlee Rae Carbone contends that the invasive but ultimately fruitless ordeal began on Nov. 3, 2013, when a police officer who pulled her over in New Castle, Pennsylvania, claimed to smell burnt marijuana.
As detailed in her 2015 complaint, Carbone was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, but no field-sobriety test was performed, nor did the officer find any illegal items in a search of her person or vehicle.
At the Lawrence County Jail, Carbone says April Brightshue and a second corrections officer carried out what would be the first of a series of strip searches.
During their visual inspection of Carbone’s genitals, Brightshue and the second officer allegedly claimed to see a plastic bag protruding from her vagina. Carbone says they then forced her, crying, to probe inside her own vagina with her fingers “to remove an unknown item later determined not to exist.”
Medical professionals later restrained Carbone and subjected to her to additional searches and a CT scan at Jameson Health Systems, according to the complaint.
Claiming that she was released without charge after five hours of demeaning searches, Carbone seeks punitive damages for assault.
It is difficult to see how a cavity search could last “five hours.” Was it actually sustained abuse and humiliation rather than a cavity search?
Perhaps the woman wants the officer’s psychotherapeutic records released in order to demonstrate to the court that the officer is not mentally stable or has an objectionable history.
The Judge’s full statement is as follows:
“In the instant case, the Court finds not only that Defendant Brightshue’s psychotherapeutic records are privileged but that Plaintiff has not met her burden of establishing their relevance. Indeed, the United States Supreme Court has specifically held that confidential communications between licensed psychotherapist and psychologists and their patients during the course of treatment are privileged and protected from disclosure.”