Cop ‘Violated 17-Year-Old Boy’s Rights’ by Asking Him to ‘Make His Penis Erect’

Detective David E. Abbott Jr (right) allegedly violated Trey Sims’ (left in 2014) Fourth Amendment rights by asking him to ‘make his penis erect’ in order to take a photo after Sims was accused of sending a photo of his genitals to his then 15-year-old girlfriend.

A cop allegedly violated a teenager’s Fourth Amendment rights by asking him to ‘make his penis erect’ in order to take a photo, according to a Virginia judge.

Trey Sims was 17 years old when he was accused of sending pictures of his genitals to his then 15-year-old girlfriend in 2014.

That same year, Sims, of Manassas, Virginia, was charged with child pornography.

In May 2016, Sims, now 20, filed a federal civil rights suit alleging that Detective David E Abbott Jr, had forced him to pull down his trousers so cops could take pictures of his penis to compare with the graphic images on his girlfriend’s phone.

Abbott obtained a search warrant authorizing photographs of Sims’ ‘naked body, including his erect penis’, Fourth Circuit Judge Barbara Keenan wrote in court documents released on Tuesday.

According to the documents, Abbott obtained a second search warrant the day after Sims was arraigned on charges of possession and distribution of child pornography.

‘Abbott informed Sims’ attorney that Abbott again ‘proposed to take photographs of [Sims’] erect penis’ to be used as evidence.

The detective also stated that if Sims could not achieve an erection, Sims would be taken ‘to a hospital to give him an erection-producing injection’.

Abbott was able to obtain the second search warrant from a Virginia magistrate, which authorized additional photographs of Sims’ naked body, including his erect penis.

But before that warrant was executed, the Manassas City Police Department issued a statement explaining that the department’s policy did not permit ‘invasive search procedures of suspects in cases of this nature’.

Abbott was later accused of molesting two young boys in an unrelated case and killed himself in 2015 as police moved to arrest him and before Sims filed the lawsuit in 2016.

Sims therefore filed the lawsuit against Kenneth Labowitz, the administrator of Abbott’s estate, and Claiborne Richardson II – the assistant Prince William commonwealth’s attorney who police said instructed Abbott to get the warrant.

Shortly after Sims filed the suit, a district court determined that the administrator (Labowitz) was entitled to qualified immunity and dismissed Sims’ complaint.

Sims then filed an appeal and on Tuesday, the US Court of Appeals announced their decision to reverse the district court’s decision.

‘Construing the facts in the light most favorable to Sims, a reasonable police officer would have known that attempting to obtain a photograph of a minor child’s erect penis, by ordering the child to masturbate in the presence of others, would unlawfully invade the child’s right of privacy under the Fourth Amendment,’ court documents stated.

Labowitz, the administrator for Abbott’s estate, ‘maintains that Sims failed to allege sufficient facts to support a Fourth Amendment violation because Abbott’s search did not place Sims at risk of physical harm, and because the search did not physically invade Sims’ body’. But the appeals court disagreed.

‘We cannot perceive any circumstance that would justify a police search requiring an individual to masturbate in the presence of others,’ the documents read.

The 2014 incident began when Sims’ girlfriend sent nude photos of herself to him by cell phone.

He had then responded with ‘an explicit video of himself via his cell phone,’ Sims’ lawyer attorney Victor M. Glasberg said.


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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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