Disturbing video released of invasive cavity search
HOUSTON, Texas (FOX 26) - On June 20, 2015, Charnesia Corley was stopped for a traffic violation in north Houston. Harris County deputies suspecting drug possession stripped her naked below the waist.
Seconds into the newly-released dash cam video, the 21-year-old woman with no criminal record is pushed face-first to the ground and her head shoved beneath the car.
Moments later, a female deputy is seen forcefully prying Corley's legs apart. Corley remains prone, legs pinned against her back for several minutes until a second female deputy arrives. Wearing rubber gloves, that second deputy can later be seen reaching between Corley's legs.
While the video cannot conclusively show penetration, officers say they did not invade a body cavity, but did recover a tiny amount of marijuana. In sworn testimony, Corley says she was absolutely violated.
"If what those officers did to Miss Corley does not amount to mistreatment, does not amount to rape, I don't know what is," said Sam Cammack, Corley's Attorney.
Cammack is furious.
"Basically violated every human right known to mankind under God with this young lady and they are not held accountable. That's what I am angry about," said Cammack.
"Not held accountable" because Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg has cleared the previously indicted officers of all criminal charges and challenged Corley's credibility.
"Would you characterize it as revictimizing of the victim in this case? Of course it is. It's a threat," said Cammack.
It's a development that's being forcefully denounced by Black Lives Matters Houston.
"Any attempt to try and criminalize her, demonize her and it needs to stop and it needs to be shut down. It could have been me. It could have been my daughter. It could have been any woman in Harris County. The reality of it is, it wouldn't have been any white woman," said Candice Webber, BLM Houston spokeswoman.
Webber says leaving the brutal search unpunished amounts to a green light for further police misconduct against women.
"What would you have to do? What would be justifiable for you to do for a police officer to pull your pants down, throw you down on the ground, spread your legs and vaginally penetrate you in a Texaco Parking lot. What crime would you have to commit for that to be okay?," asked Webber.
As for the credibility issue, turns out Corley told a Grand Jury she believed she was pregnant at the time of the search. It was later determined that the pregnancy didn't begin until after the incident. Attorney Cammack says his client didn't lie and has actually dared the District Attorney to file a perjury charge.
Corley has filed a $15 million civil rights lawsuit in federal court.