Trooper pleads guilty to official oppression charges over body searches

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by DAVID SCHECHTER

WFAA

Posted on May 23, 2014 at 10:30 PM

Updated Friday, May 23 at 10:44 PM

This was a moment Angel Dobbs wanted and finally got.

Friday, she publicly faced down former Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Kelley Helleson.

“To me, that’s not a cop," she said. "That’s a predator."

Helleson was terminated from her job as a trooper after a video went viral that revealed she performed a full cavity search on Dobbs and her adult niece during a routine traffic stop in 2012.

"She never once asked me, because I didn’t know it was going to happen, if I had a venereal disease, if I had AIDS," Dobbs said.

Helleson pleaded guilty Friday to two charges of official oppression before the case could go to trial. It’s a misdemeanor but will remain on her permanent record, eliminating her from future law enforcement jobs.

And while prosecutors say Helleson has previously admitted to a full, invasive search, on the stand Friday, the former trooper denied it.

"At no time did I ever stick my finger in any part of anyone’s body," she said. "That never happened."

The prosecution says they reviewed other dash-cam videos of Helleson performing invasive searches, though none were prosecutable. Dobbs hopes other women after seeing her story speak up.

“I would like to make a plea to the other victims to come forward," she said. "If you know someone who has been searched, come forward."

In response to this case, DPS now requires a warrant for a body search. The state has also paid out $185,000 to Dobbs in a civil lawsuit. Helleson is on probation for two years but will serve no jail time.

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