City of San Antonio to pay $205k settlement to woman after officer searched her vagina in public

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The city of San Antonio has reportedly agreed to pay a woman $205,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging that a police detective pulled down her shorts in public and conducted a drug search in her vagina in front of other male officers. The detective accused of conducting the illegal vaginal cavity search, Mara Wilson, was never reprimanded by the police department, and has since retired.

According to an agenda posted online, the City council is scheduled to vote Thursday whether to fund the settlement via the city’s Self-Insurance Liability Fund.

The lawsuit, filed in 2018 by Natalie D. Simms, alleges that SAPD Detective Mara Wilson, now retired, conducted an illegal vaginal cavity search on Simms after she was approached by officers while she sat on a curb waiting for her boyfriend.

The officers asked Simms, who has a criminal record, if they could search her car for drugs, San Antonio Current reported. When the search turned up no contraband, they called for a female officer to search her person.

Detective Mara Wilson in a 2001 photo from the San Antonio Police Officers Association annual awards ceremony. A San Antonio woman filed a lawsuit last year against Wilson, who has since retired, alleging that the detective inappropriately searched her for contraband. Photo: Anthony Padilla, Contributor / SAEN.

Mara Wilson, a 32-year force veteran, slid down Simms’ shorts and examined her vagina in front of male officers in the middle of the street, court papers allege. The officer also pulled a tampon from Simms’ vagina and held it up, inspecting it in front of the other cops.

The suit references video footage taken from a squad car camera that appears to show Simms raising objections when it appeared Wilson was ready to probe her anus to continue the search.

“Officer Wilson had violated Natalie vaginally, and now it appeared that she might violate Natalie anally,” the lawsuit alleges. “She was doing so without a warrant, with no medical personnel present, and on a public street in view of several people as well as those passing by.”

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According to the suit, Wilson was never disciplined for the search because internal affairs found that she hadn’t violated any department policies. She retired in 2017.


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