Systemic abuse

Nebraska State Patrol allegedly put female recruits through ‘sexually invasive’ exams

(Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

Women hoping to join the Nebraska State Patrol have been required to undergo unnecessary vaginal and rectal exams by a male doctor for years, according to a new federal lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday by State Trooper Brienne Splittgerber, alleges that for years women have been required to undress from the waist down for vaginal and rectal examinations — ostensibly in order to check them for hernias. Most if not all male recruits, by contrast, were not required to undress or undergo the invasive exams.

“Subjecting the plaintiff and other female trooper candidates to a medically unnecessary and sexually invasive procedure is outrageous conduct which goes beyond all possible bounds of decency and is utterly intolerable in a civilized community,” the lawsuit read.

Splittgerber said she agreed to undergo the exam in 2014 before being hired by the patrol in 2015, but when she later spoke to a family doctor she discovered there was no legitimate medical reason for the exam. After complaining to her superiors, she was allegedly told that an investigation was underway but she grew suspicious after finding out that potential female recruits were still being referred to the same doctor to undergo the examinations.

“There would be no reason to look in the genital or anal area,” said Dr. Karen Carlson, an OB-GYN with Nebraska Medicine in Omaha, adding that it wouldn’t even be necessary to have people disrobe in order to check for hernias.

Earlier this year, Colonel Brad Rice, the former head of the Nebraska State Patrol, was fired in the midst of an internal review over whether officers had fabricated their narrative about a crash that killed a South Dakota driver fleeing from a trooper.

In wake of news of the lawsuit, a spokesman for the Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts announced the launching of a criminal investigation into the claims.

Read the full story at Fox News.


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EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is independent of and separate from any views of The New York Times.

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