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mike shupp

IANAL. But based on precedent:

If a police officer conducted a vaginal search of a suspect with his finger, it would be a crime. Anywhere in the USA.

It would probably be ignored if the suspect pleaded quilty to the crime agreed to hold the investigators harmless, in return for a lighter sentence -- which probably covers 90 of the applicable cases.

Outside of small towns in North Dakota or Mississippi however, the cops could be in a world of trouble for such a tactic. Esoecially if the examining officer was a male rather than a female or if a male officer were employed to witness the search.

The sensible thing to do would be (a) to reason with the defendent, explain that a search was inevitable, and that she should cooperate by voluntary removal of the contrband material -- which would count in her favor when a legal verdict came down, (b) keep the suspect under close observation, either by individuals or closed camera, to see if she did in private remove the alleged stolen material from her vagina and attempt to hide it elsewhere (c) keep the suspect under observation until competent legal counsel (her lawyer or public defender) had explained matters to her, after which if still uncooperative she might be restrained while a state certified physician performed a court-ordered inspection.

At virutally every step of the proceedings, the supect would be told to cooperate for the sake of a lighter sentence. This might be "coercive" but it isn't rape.

Having a couple of police officers forcibly hold a woman down while a sergeant shoves his hand up her vagina on the grounds that "It's just Mabel Dogsbody again and everybody in town knows about Mabel" really is illegal. Even when the cops get away with it.

Dave Tufte

I am wondering if my meaning did not come across clearly?

It was the drug dealer who was found guilty of object rape for retrieving the drugs that had been stolen from them. The cops didn't do this.

I'm not at all on the side of the dealer. But it seems to me that the thief provoked a response by stealing the drugs in the first place, and this somewhat mitigates the degree of the crime committed to retrieve them. Then the thief upped the ante by putting the drugs "where only a woman can". Does that mitigate further?

FWIW: I just reviewed the details online. The object rape charge was pled down to sexual battery. "The convictions ... included a theft ... one night and the incident including the [aggravated] robbery, [aggravated] kidnapping, sexual battery and drug use on a separate night." The sentence was 6 years to life with a 1-15 year sentence to be served consecutively. The judge did reduce the main sentence from 10 years to life by the maximum amount for mitigating factors.

mike shupp

I understood your post, at least I think. I'm disagreeing with your belief that "if the police did this, it would not be a crime." It would be. More to the point, it'd not look good if mentioned in court in front of a jury, and a really zealous defense attorney would probably pound on that to create sympathy for his client.

Granted, most cases, most of the time, the police would get away with it. But the trend for the last century or so is that the standards for police conduct keep getting higher and higher.

Dave Tufte

Agreed.

My point is that if covering up your criminal act invites others to commit criminal acts, who is responsible?

For example, if you speed away from a crime scene to cover your tracks, and have an accident, you're held responsible for that. But, if you steal drugs, and hide them inside your body to cover your tracks, the other person commits a crime by retrieving them. It seems to me this encourages the initial behavior.

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