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Women settle with Texas state police for $185K over illegal body cavity search, report says

Video still from a police dash cam of a traffic stop in Irving, Texas, in July 2012, during which two women claim they were humiliated by an illegal cavity search. CBS DFW

(CBS) NORTH TEXAS - The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has settled a lawsuit with two Irving women who filed a lawsuit claiming they were humiliated after they were subjected to an illegal cavity search by police during a traffic stop last July, CBS DFW reports.

Attorney Scott Palmer confirmed his client Angel Dobbs and her niece, Ashley Dobbs, received a settlement of $185,000 in the federal civil rights case.

The women were reportedly pulled over after throwing cigarette butts out of their car window while taking a road-trip to Oklahoma.

Trooper David Farrell claimed he smelled marijuana coming from the vehicle and performed a search, but turned up nothing, according to the station. He then called female Trooper Kelly Helleson, who proceeded to do a very personal cavity search to see if the women were hiding illegal items, the station reports.

The women claim Helleson used her fingers to search body cavities and used the same latex glove on both women. The searches reportedly happened on the side of the road, in full view of passing vehicles.

After the search turned up nothing, a roadside sobriety test was performed on Angel Dobbs and she passed. The women were ultimately given a warning for littering and were sent on their way.

The women's attorney called the actions of the troopers reprehensible and illegal. He said the six-figure settlement is not only good for his clients, but for other potential victims as well.

"It will deter any future misconduct by any police officer or trooper in the future, for sure. That's part of why they brought this lawsuit," Palmer said. "This will probably never happen again because of this lawsuit and the attention this has gotten."

Trooper Helleson was reportedly fired earlier this year and has been charged with two counts of sexual assault and two counts of official oppression. If convicted, she could have to register as a sex offender.

Trooper Farrell was suspended while officials investigated allegations that he took a prescription bottle of the painkiller hydrocodone from one of the women during the roadside search, according to the station.

Complete coverage of the illegal cavity search allegation on Crimesider

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