It was late evening and Angel Dobbs and her niece were driving from Texas to Oklahoma on what was supposed to be a fun road trip to a casino. Apparently, one of the women threw a cigarette butt out the window and were stopped by a male state trooper for littering. The trooper than decided the women were acting strange and that the car smelled of marijuana. He called for a female state trooper to do a cavity search on both women.
Angel Dobbs and her niece, Ashley, have since sued the Department of Public Safety (DPS) claiming that State Trooper Helleson inserted her hands inside their vaginas and anuses, all without changing the latex gloves. The law enforcement agency awarded the women $185,000. The judge deemed the search “unconstitutional” especially because it took place in full view of passing cars on State Highway 161.
Kelly Helleson is the female trooper caught on video. You can see her inserting her hands inside the pants of both Angel Dobbs and her niece, Ashley, without even changing gloves. The video (above) went viral when the incident first happened, but the turn of events in this case are surprising to some.
Helleson has been fired since the roadside cavity search, and she pleaded guilty on Friday to two counts of official oppression. However, she still denies ever touching the privates of the two women who were pulled over, despite what we see in the video.
“At no time did I ever stick my finger inside any part of anyone’s body – that never happened,” Helleson insisted in court. She also reminded the court that Dobbs and her niece smelled of marijuana during the traffic stop, and she was merely doing what she was trained to do as a state trooper.
Despite her protests, the judge sentenced Helleson to two years’ probation and ordered her to pay a $2,000 fine stemming from the traffic stop. She’s been barred from working in law enforcement ever again.
Helleson is a retired U.S Marine, who was serving the force for over 10 years. If she violates the terms of her probation, she faces jail time.
Angel Dobbs told the court that the cavity search has deeply affected her and made her feel violated (an echo of what she said in the video immediately after the search). It has also shaken her trust in police, she said.
‘No woman should have their body unnecessarily violated in this type of way. This was a gross invasion of the victim’s privacy and violation of the public’s trust,’ said Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins.
Dobbs said that when she first complained about Helleson’s conduct to the DPS, she was allegedly threatened with criminal charges.
This landmark case made national headlines and led DPS to prohibit troopers from conducting cavity searches without warrants.
Watch the video and tell us what you think about what happened. Did Helleson deserve the punishment she received or was she just doing her job?