City of San Antonio Plans to Pay Settlement to Woman After Detective Searched Her Vagina in Middle of the Street

The city of San Antonio wants to make a $205,000 payout to a woman who sued in federal court, alleging that an SAPD detective pulled down her shorts in public and inappropriately searched her vagina for drugs.

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

The lawsuit, filed last year by Natalie D. Simms, alleges now-retired SAPD Detective Mara Wilson 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 whether they could search her car for drugs, the suit charges. When the search turned up no contraband, they called for a female officer to search her person.

According to the allegations in the suit, Wilson, a 32-year force veteran, slid down Simms' shorts and examined her vagina in view of the street while male officers were present. 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."

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.

Officials with city attorney's office were unavailable for immediate comment on the proposed settlement.
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