Authorities in Texas say a state trooper accused of sexual assaulting a woman during a recent traffic stop was cleared of wrongdoing by body-camera footage of the encounter.
As Fox News reported, Sherita Dixon-Cole filed a complaint against the Department of Public Safety officer following her arrest on suspicion of driving while intoxicated earlier this week.
Days later, the law enforcement agency released footage it said contradicted the accuser’s claims and exonerated Trooper Daniel Hubbard.
The video evidence was so compelling that Dixon-Cole’s attorney almost immediately issued a public apology. Lee Merritt had demanded a full investigation into the allegations lodged by his client following Sunday’s traffic stop.
Dixon-Cole initially claimed Hubbard began by pressuring her to engage in sexual conduct, ostensibly in exchange for leniency. She alleged that he then forced her into his cruiser and aggressively fondled her against her will.
In his initial press release, Merritt openly discussed alleged details of the incident involving his client.
He wrote that the trooper “suggested she could go home in exchange for sexual favors,” adding that after she refused, Hubbard “forcefully groped, fondled and vaginally penetrated (her) during a prolonged arrest.”
In light of the video evidence, Merritt attached a lengthy statement to a Facebook post in which he conceded that the evidence seems to disprove the claims against Hubbard.
“The body camera footage released directly conflicts with the accounts reported to my office,” he wrote. “There is no readily apparent evidence of tampering with the footage.”
He apologized for the toll this experience has taken on the trooper he publicly accused of wrongdoing on behalf of Dixon-Cole.
“It is deeply troubling when innocent parties are falsely accused and I am truly sorry for any trouble these claims may have caused Officer Hubbard and his family,” Merritt wrote.
DPS officials roundly denied the allegations soon after they were made.
“Upon learning of the allegations today, the department immediately took action to review the dash cam video,” the department’s initial statement read. “The video shows absolutely no evidence to support the serious accusations against the Trooper during the DWI arrest of the suspect.”
After the arrest footage was released, released a statement expressing contempt for accuser’s behavior.
“The video shows absolutely no evidence to support the egregious and unsubstantiated accusations against the Trooper during the DWI arrest of the suspect,” he said.
Haschel went on to state that the agency is “appalled that anyone would make such a despicable, slanderous and false accusation against a peace officer who willingly risks his life every day to protect and serve the public.”
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