Victim’s $303k payout win after ‘vaginal cavity search’
WARNING: Graphic descriptions
A woman who had a tampon pulled out of her body by a police officer is expected to agree to a settlement worth $US205,000 ($A303,000).
The shocking incident occurred in August 2016, when Natalie D. Simms was pulled over by cops while driving in San Antonio, Texas in the US.
The officers were conducting a drug search - but after they failed to find any illegal substances, things took a confronting turn.
"Spread your legs," officer Mara Wilson allegedly told Ms Simms, according to The Washington Post.
Then the unthinkable happened - she was subjected to a "vaginal cavity search", which resulted in her tampon being pulled out on a public street in front of male officers and other witnesses.
Last year, she launched legal action to sue the city of San Antonio and detective Mara Wilson, with lawyer Dean Malone describing the incident as a "horrible experience" and "a shocking display of what can occur when police power is unchecked" in an interview with local media.
But according to a City of San Antonio agenda, it seems the parties may have come to an agreement, with the city set to vote on a settlement of $US205,000 ($A303,000), which local media report Ms Simms has already agreed to.
Harrowing details of the incident were also detailed in legal documents filed on Ms Simms' behalf.
"Officer Wilson knew that she could not expose Natalie's pubic hair, vagina, or other parts of her body which are so intimate as to be covered up regularly in public," the documents state.
"Unfortunately, Officer Wilson's knowledge was no concern to her and did not guide her search. Officer Wilson chose to culminate her search by conducting a vaginal cavity search."
The documents claim Ms Simms tried to object to the search, but was ignored.
"She (Wilson) pulled open Natalie's pants and underwear and used her flashlight to look at the area around and including that covered by pubic hair and a portion of Natalie's vagina," the legal suit continues.
"Disgustingly, and in clear violation of Natalie's constitutional rights, Officer Wilson chose to reach into Natalie's pants and pull the string attached to a tampon which was present in Natalie's vaginal cavity.
"Officer Wilson did so knowing that Natalie was on her period, and also knowing and seeing that Natalie had a menstrual pad in place."
Dashcam footage taken during the search was included in the documents, and screenshots have been published online.
According to the Washington Post, after removing the tampon, Officer Wilson then allegedly implied she was going to continue with an anal search, although it is not known whether that took place.
No drugs were found on Ms Simms' person or in her vehicle, and she was eventually let go.
Authorities initially denied the search violated any laws or procedures, and Officer Wilson - who has since retired - was not punished.
Americans have reacted with shock and outrage since the story broke, with social media users condemning the officer's actions as "disgusting" and "wrong".