Customs Agents, Local Doctor Subject 18-Year-Old To Vaginal, Rectal Probing In Search Of Nonexistent Drugs

from the CBP-demands-development-of-additional-orifices-to-violate dept

The Constitution-free buffer zone near our nation’s borders ensures those who wander too far away from the center of our country will be robbed of their rights, thanks to ongoing wars vs. drugs and terrorism. They may also be robbed of their dignity.

There’s apparently very little law enforcement personnel won’t do when in pursuit of drugs. The gloves come off, only to be replaced with other gloves, which are then forcefully inserted into every orifice on a “suspect’s” body. We saw this happen to New Mexico native David Eckert back in 2013. The list of invasions and indignities perpetrated on him by the Deming police and a far-too-compliant “medical professional” is long, ugly and comprehensive.

1. Eckert’s abdominal area was x-rayed; no narcotics were found.
2. Doctors then performed an exam of Eckert’s anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.
3. Doctors performed a second exam of Eckert’s anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.
4. Doctors penetrated Eckert’s anus to insert an enema. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.
5. Doctors penetrated Eckert’s anus to insert an enema a second time. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.
6. Doctors penetrated Eckert’s anus to insert an enema a third time. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.
7. Doctors then x-rayed Eckert again; no narcotics were found.
8. Doctors prepared Eckert for surgery, sedated him, and then performed a colonoscopy where a scope with a camera was inserted into Eckert’s anus, rectum, colon, and large intestines. No narcotics were found.

The police obtained no drugs, but Eckert obtained a $1.6 million settlement.

Perhaps that sort of payoff is in 18-year-old Ashley Cervantes’ future. Cervantes did nothing more than cross the border to eat breakfast in Nogales, Mexico. Upon her return, things went from bad to worse to nightmarish. [via Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica]

The litany of abuses inflicted on her during a 7-hour search for nonexistent drugs mirrors that of Eckert’s. From the lawsuit [PDF]:

The CBP Agent became more aggressive in his questions and accusations. That CBP Agent directed Ashley to follow him to a “detention” room, ostensibly for additional questioning. Over the course of the next few hours, Ashley:

a. was handcuffed to a chair;

b. had a number of CBP K9’s sniff her person (a violation of CBP policy, which prohibits the use of K9’s on a person); and,

c. was taken into a separate room, patted down, and asked to squat so female investigators could visually inspect her.

At no point was Cervantes advised of her Miranda rights, because forget it, Jake, it’s Bordertown. The CBP’s inability to locate the drugs the agent fervently believed Cervantes was smuggling into the country didn’t result in the conclusion of the search. Instead, efforts escalated under the theory that Cervantes was just particularly skilled in the art of concealing drugs.

First, the CBP agent deployed his own questionable medical skills to fill out a “Treatment Authorization Request.” In this Immigration Health Services’ form, the agent “diagnosed” Cervantes as a “potential internal carrier of foreign substances” and ordered up an X-ray. Cervantes was placed in a CBP van and taken to Holy Cross Hospital, where an all-too-willing accomplice was found in the form of Dr. Patrick F. Martinez. Once there, more questionable paperwork was completed by those involved.

The Holy Cross records from Ashley’s time at the facility include a number of factual inaccuracies, including inaccurately setting out that Ashley was accompanied by her mother and arrived in a private vehicle. In reality, Ashley was transported in a CBP vehicle. Her handcuffs were not removed until she changed into a hospital gown for the alleged purpose of undergoing an X-Ray.

Cervantes never underwent an X-ray. Instead, she underwent a series of non-consensual penetrations — something most people refer to as “rape.”

Dr. Martinez, a male physician, entered Ashley’s room and, after asking a few cursory questions, brutally invaded her body on a warrantless and unjustified search for contraband.

Dr. Martinez forcefully and digitally probed Ashley’s vagina and anus.

Ashley had never before been to a gynecologist and, for the remainder of her life, will always remember that her first pelvic and rectal exams were under the most inhumane circumstances imaginable to a U.S. citizen at a hospital on U.S. soil.


The searches conducted by the CBP Agents, Holy Cross and Dr. Martinez injured Ashley physically, mentally and emotionally. Her labia, vaginal opening, and anus were left raw and sore and she felt violated, demeaned and powerless as a result of the searches.

Seven hours. No drugs. Multiple penetrations. No warrants. No consent. And all of this will likely be OK — or at least not enough to leap the “qualified immunity” hurdle.

The courts have frequently held that the Fourth Amendment is nothing to get too concerned about near our nation’s borders, what with drugs and terrorism on the loose. If the courts find it acceptable for the CBP to seize laptops and other devices and search them without a warrant, it stands to reason they’ll probably find seizing and searching the lower half of a human being without probable cause to be just one of those things that happen in service of the public’s “best interest.”

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Comments on “Customs Agents, Local Doctor Subject 18-Year-Old To Vaginal, Rectal Probing In Search Of Nonexistent Drugs”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: 'Sacrifices must be made. Your rights for instance, those have got to go'

Just prepare ahead of time to have any belief in the legal system you may still have shattered like glass when the judge presiding over the case says that absolutely nothing illegal happened, case dismissed.

After all if border agents aren’t allowed to rape anyone they want then the terrorists/communists/druggies win! /poe

Manabi (profile) says:

Re: Re: 'Sacrifices must be made. Your rights for instance, those have got to go'

The CBP probably will be just fine in court, but the doctor… he’s likely in deep shit. Only an x-ray was ordered, the doctor failed to have that done, then did the physical exams. I’m sure the CBP encouraged him to do this, but legally? They’re going to claim the doctor did it on his own initiative. He’s wide open to both malpractice and civil lawsuits.

The doctor’s malpractice insurance is unlikely to cover this either. The exams were unnecessary medically, not even ordered by anyone (at least via paper trail), and malpractice insurance doesn’t cover cases like that. There’s a very good chance he could end up losing his license to practice medicine over this even.

Too bad probably not a damn thing will happen to the CBP agent.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Can this incident be cited...

…as an example of a search done in good faith?

After all, no warrants, no consent, no justification. Just a determination to find contraband that wasn’t actually there.

If they argue good faith, then this incident should be raised every single time the DoJ ever claims good faith, ever, when Dr. Martinez under orders of the CBP forcibly raped Ashley Cervantes in good faith.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Can this incident be cited...

Good faith doesn’t apply so easily to doctors, though. Doctors have actual procedures they need to follow even if they have a good faith belief that the procedures aren’t necessary.

Based on the description of what the doctor did (which may not be complete), no such procedure was followed. If a patient comes in for an X-ray and the doctor performs an invasive procedure without proper consent, “good faith” does not protect the doctor. Doctors have been convicted of battery for such things.

There is an exception for when a patient is unresponsive and is in imminent danger of death, but that clearly was not the case here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Can this incident be cited...

Medical care in the area is very much on a “take it or leave it” basis, and hospitals can get away with a lot that that they can’t in more heavily populated areas.

The second closest option for US-based emergency medical care in Nogales, USA, is Green Valley, which is 40 miles away and third closest is Sierra Vista, which is 60+ miles away. Alternatively I believe there’s a hospital in Nogales, Mexico.

Getting a Doctor to work in the area is a non-trivial exercise, due to location, pay, etc.

It’s a fairly safe assumption that the policies and procedures at the hospital are going to be lax and easily overlooked. Carondolet (the parent company of the hospital) is going to be highly incentivized to protect the Dr., and his patients won’t – for the most part – have a second option available.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Can this incident be cited...

Ah, that could be. My comments are based on my wife’s experience working in a major metropolitan hospital.

She says that every single day, the police come in and try to talk nurses and doctors into things that are technically allowed for the police but not for health care providers. These are usually requests for medical records, but often are requests for invasive searches.

The hospital staff almost always refuses to go along for the reasons I said above. The hospital itself is so concerned about liability that on the rare occasions that a doctor or nurse gives in to police demands, they are fired. From the hospital’s point of view, this is a potentially existential issue.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Can this incident be cited...

Yeah, small town hospitals are very much a different world. Odds are good that the Dr. and the CBP agent are drinking buddies.

Odds are also very nearly 100% that if the girl stays in the area and ends up at the hospital for any reason, she’ll end up with Dr. Martinez as the attending Dr.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Can this incident be cited...

I can see that. Remind me to never go to a rural hospital!

There’s another aspect I didn’t mention: the police can get really abusive in their requests. The hospital staff is supposed to direct any and all police requests to a designated person to handle. My wife was that person for a year or so, and often came off her shift with stories about some cop or another who was literally screaming in her face in an attempt to coerce her into giving in to his demands.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Can this incident be cited...

Yeah, cops don’t generally like to be told “no”, doesn’t matter how politely you do it.

As far as rural hospitals: Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it :S There are actually advantages. Nogales looks enormous compared to the city I live in (Nogales has 20k people, my city has 5k), but the staff at the local hospital are caring, concerned individuals, and the service – especially in the ER – is fast. Like walk in, register, and be taken straight to a bed fast. They have a waiting room, but I’m not sure why, since no one in my family has ever had to actually wait.

Also, odds are good I know them, or their kids. Or they know my kids. But even with that said – or because of it, hard to say why: the folks I know there go way out of their way not to disclose patient visits, etc, publicly.

Granted, I’ve never been hauled into the ER in handcuffs with an angry cop wanting me searched, so my perspectives may be skewed.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Can this incident be cited...

About rural hospitals — I actually agree with you. My comment was hyperbolic snark (although has an element of truth).

I nearly took a job (I’m a software engineer) at a regional hospital in what passed for the “metropolitan center” of the area. It was a town with a population a little north of 5,000. They offered me an extremely generous salary and offered to employ my wife as well. Everyone there seemed pretty great, and when we asked around town for their impression of the hospital, we got nothing but positive comments.

I ended up turning the job down, but it was very, very tempting.

Andrew D. Todd (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Can this incident be cited...

Well, of course, you realize that the doctor has been black-listed, as of now. His name has been widely published; the affair will turn up on any “due-diligence” search. Like Conrad’s Lord Jim, he could spend the rest of his life running from the report. Or he could join Medicin Sans Frontiers, the medical equivalent of the Foreign Legion. MSF would send him to a hospital somewhere in a war zone, in Syria or Iraq or Afghanistan, a hospital which is being bombarded by both sides, where he can work out his penance. Or maybe they will send him to West Africa, and Ebola. MSF goes wherever it is needed, and damm the risk.

R.H. (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Have a look at the suit. It lists, the United States of America, many of the agents that assaulted her, the hospital, the doctor, and everyone else (and every corporate entity or other company) that may have been involved in this travesty.

I don’t know why but, I just get a fuzzy feeling inside when I see the United States of America as the defendant in a valid complaint. I guess it just reminds me that, even though we should never have to do so in the first place, suing the government is a way to get recompense that just doesn’t exist everywhere.

freedomfan (profile) says:


Just to be clear, in a Google News search a minute ago, I haven’t run across this story in any of the big mainstream news outlets, Fox, CNN, New York Times, etc. The sneer quotes apply equally to any of their coverage of incidents like this.

Meanwhile, it might be a little premature to conclude that Fox would particularly not want to cover this. Obama’s Border Patrol agents’ dehumanizing treatment of an 18-year-old girl would be both a good news story and serve to poke holes in the laughable delusion of Dem/Repub partisans that their “side” would never let things like this happen.

Of course they would let it happen. And, if it goes to court, they will be arguing that it was not improper that they did it and they will vigorously resist any attempt to take away their authority to do it again.

TenStepper says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I think that even referring to them as “rapists” is going to easy on them. I would prefer “war criminals” along with “traitor” and “actors of treason” with mandatory execution.

There’s no reason to waste tax money on what amounts to free room and board, television, health club and medical coverage for these worse-than-nazi asshats.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Prison is not a spa nor a free ride.

Our US prisons are pits of despair. Safety, protection from elements, food, television and medical care cannot be taken for granted, and are often intentionally withheld for our inmates. They are almost universally pits of crime and abuse, which is made worse since we’ve have presumption of guilt and such a high conviction rate, we probably have more than fifty percent innocent in our prisons.

Plenty are serving more than a murderer would because of mandatory minimums on drug busts. Our incarceration rate of our population conspicuously speaks to our prison problem, as does the rate at which convicts die in it.

Our corrections system teems with crimes against humanity. A suitable revenge for those who created it, but personally, I long for a society that doesn’t punish or exact revenge, but can effectively rehabilitate.

Maybe it’s a pipe dream, but really we’re approaching Bastille / Work-camp level quality of life in our prisons. Any change is more likely to improve than not.

Anonymous Coward says:

I can't even...

think of anything to say to this! Nothing I can write here can describe what disgust I feel for these “people”. There should be no doubt in anyones mind that this was rape!

What is equally as disgusting is that no one will be brought to justice for this crime.

When we see the number of criminals go down, it is actually because the killers, robbers and power hungry maniacs just become law enforcement and apparently rapists become doctors to do it entirely legally.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Land of the free. Home of the brave.

At the time we were freer than most, as we were farming or mining our own lands, rather than the lands of some lord to whom we owed fealty and a cut of our crops.

And we were braving the elements of the frontier without law or health care or any social services to fall back on. We also died a lot so it was pretty durned courageous.

Nowadays, we are oppressed by the redcoats (though now they’re blue) and serfs to our corporate masters, who pay us a sustenance pittance and don’t assure our protection or welfare.

But we kinda knew things were going to slip away from us. Lords and kings incline towards taking the little people for granted, which is what we were trying to escape in the first place.

If we don’t kill ourselves through ecology collapse and global food crisis, then we’ll try again someday.

Not today.

afn29129 (profile) says:

Cary a lawyer or 3 in your pocket at all times.

It has now come to the point where one travels, or even sit in their home, one needs a lawyer or 3. Wanna fly into the US? Have have your lawyer meet you. A quick trip into mexico for a meal? Take your lawyer with you. Sit in your house and with the TV? It would be a good idea to have another chair for your lawyer.

CynicalChris (profile) says:

Re: Cary a lawyer or 3 in your pocket at all times.

Whenever I’m travelling internationally, I avoid transiting through the US, even if it makes my journey longer.

The number of horror stories I’ve read about, involving the US law enforcement (not only border control), make me think almost anything would be better than saying the wrong thing, or having the wrong itinerary, when I meet up with them.

DB (profile) says:

They don’t come right out and state it, but there is a suggestion that she was a virgin.

It might not matter to you, but in some cultures it’s extremely important that a woman is “intact” when she marries. Look at this incident from that perspective.

This was a horrible crime perpetrated by the government, and every official involved claims that they have the power to repeat this any time they like.

Anonymous Coward says:

Just going on the assumption that she was likely carrying drugs, the search should be the least invasive method possible. Since she was at the hospital, they should have used an X-ray and been done at that point. Anything more than that is plainly unreasonable.

Even the X-ray could be unreasonable depending on specific details and what cause existed for a specific case.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: I hope she gets a huge settlement

While I agree that she certainly deserves something like that, and so do they, my cynicism leads me to suspect that whatever judge gets the case will accept the government’s claims that absolutely nothing excessive occurred because drugs and constitution free zone, along with buying the doctor’s excuse that he was just following lawful orders handed out by a government official.

I’d love to be proven wrong, but I don’t expect to in the slightest.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: I hope she gets a huge settlement

“And I hope that everyone involved — and particularly the doctor and hospital — has to pay.”

and with respects to the Hospital and Dr: I’d love the see their insurance companies decline to pay said fines based on a gross misconduct of the hospital and doctor.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Presumption of innocence had a good run

I had the same thought. I think they wanted something representative, and if they included all the International airports there would only be a few acres in extremely low population areas left, and might be seen to be overstating the case…even though they wouldn’t be.

The Supreme Court seems to forget that We The People are the government of our country and bend to the elected and appointed officials much too much. This might have to do with the very careful selection process where the Senate fulfills their advise and consent responsibility reviewing ideology rather than skill, which I believe is far from what the Founders intended.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Presumption of innocence had a good run

Just a thought, but since Embassies are considered to be “Foreign Land”, should there not be a 100 mile radius around every embassy in the US? I assume most are located in Washington, DC, so there should be a fully Constitutional Free Zone centered right there. Which would explain a lot, really, since the US Government seems to think it is free from having to follow the constitution.

freedomfan (profile) says:

Appropriate punishment ?

It’s not easy to decide what sort of punishment is appropriate for these molesters. 10 years in prison? Only 5? Tough call.

When I think about this happening to a wife, sister, daughter… none of that seems like enough. They are like most bullies – they did it because they knew no one would punish them. Put their heads on pikes and it won’t happen again. But, in the world we live in, they will argue that they had the legal authority to do it because blah, blah, drugs, blah, blah, terrorism. And, even if they didn’t actually have the authority, qualified immunity which, despite not being anywhere in the constitution or in a statute, seems to be government code for “we work for the government, so grab your ankles, citizen.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Appropriate punishment ?

“It’s not easy to decide what sort of punishment is appropriate for these molesters. 10 years in prison? Only 5? Tough call.”

How about 6 months in gen-pop in a federal prison. After having received facial tattoos stating “Federal LEO” and “sex offender”.

Oh, and a strict “no solitary confinement/protective custody” arrangement.

K`Tetch (profile) says:

Too many cowards whinge about not being able to cower behind as many guns as they want against a non-existent threat, and see every fact-based action against their paranoia as ‘destroying the country’ and ‘ignoring the constitution’

You want to see ignoring the fucking Constitution, it’s cowards and authoritarian shitheads like this CBP agent that will probably be granted immunity from taking responsibility for the consequences of his actions – essentially kidnapping an 18yo girl, and having her raped because he felt like it, and hiding behind his badge while willing medical personnel at the local hospital were happy to do whatever he wanted them to do.

Fuck the 2nd amendment,it’s purpose was to provide an armed citizenry in place of an army. You see the US Army, the national Guards? They were established because the founders realised the 2nd didn’t fucking work, and they were NEVER about personal protection (at least not until Scalia decided to re-write history back in 2008 and ignore 215 years of rulings – some by the people that wrote it and voted it into being – saying the opposite). You know what WAS supposed to protect you from things like the tyranny of the government? The 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments. So while people have been fixating on their personal paranoia and their desire to hold a blued-steel “comfort blanket”, their actual protection from the government has been eroded with exception after exception and priviledge heaped upon immunity for police officers, while prosecutors defer to those same agents and refuse to apply the law to them as they do to us (in fact the courts NOW say law enforcement doesn’t have to know the law, but for us ‘ignorance is no excuse’ still)

If you think your freedom depends on your owning a gun (and the 2nd amendment) and you don’t care about the 4th, 5th, 6th or 14th amendments, then think on this.
If a police officer makes something up about you (or just imagines something) and shoots you, odds are good he’ll face ZERO PENALTIES for doing so. You shoot him, even with good reason, you’ll be dealt with harshly, if not killed yourself. Again, it was written to provide an alternative to having an army, nothing more.

Your freedom doesn’t depend on guns, it never has. It’s depended on you defending your rights and ensuring they aren’t weakened and made useless. It doesn’t matter how much you fellate a .45 or worship the fantasy world of Wayne LaPierre, it doesn’t do shit for your freedoms – if anything it creates more excuses to do away with your freedoms and rights. This case is a perfect example, but there are others, some this very week; cases of ‘the end justifies the means’, and that’s bad.

Really bad.

But most self-proclaimed “patriots” and “lovers of freedom” don’t care, because they’re too worried about not being able to buy the gun they want to assuage their fear or compensate for their insecurities. That’s just sad, and pathetic, and as far from ‘patriotic’ as you can get.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: If the Second Amendment were truly respected

Then civilians would have access to whatever hardware they could afford, up to and including nuclear weapons (though there’s no real reason to want one), and they wouldn’t be penalized or punished through inventing their own.

The basis of it is that civilians, police and soldiers are all cut from the same cloth. If we can trust one of these groups with a certain power or dangerous object, then we can trust them all, and if we can’t trust one with a power then we can’t trust any.

The police don’t merely have guns, but they have the power to murder with limited consequences, hence they not only will resort to killing sooner, or at their pleasure, but also are losing discipline (e.g. fire restraint). In a similar vein our SWAT teams are organized more like volunteer fire departments and used to invade ordinary houses rather than (their original intent) hostage-barricade situations.

You’re right in that the people needed to defend our rights in order for us to retain them, though preferably through peaceable means (such as pressure through the system). Our right to own and bear arms has always been a threat to encourage the system to keep peaceable means of redress effective.

The problem remains that most people just want to live their lives, and our constitutional framers didn’t take into account that people generally are apathetic until circumstances become such that they can no longer ignore it. We suck at the eternal vigilance that freedom requires.

But this is not to say we don’t deserve it, just that we haven’t figured out how to make it work. Our apathy is true not just of Americans, but human beings the world over. Ultimately, we need to find a way to get the people to govern themselves despite themselves, because really at some deep down level we all want to be members of a small tribe of hunter-gatherers who doesn’t have to interact with anyone else outside.

It’s an instinct so powerful, it may kill us.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Some part of me really hopes that the gun control nutz win. That they make ALL guns damn near impossible to get legally, and the ammo even harder to get. That they turn everyone that owns a gun into a criminal, and start going door to door to collect them. I’m afraid that is what it’s going to take to finally put the question to rest. When only the criminals have guns, and the police can’t/wont protect you, then we will know fear.

And when I say the police can’t/wont protect you; Cops, regardless of their intentions, are not required to protect you. There are numerous supreme court rulings to back that statement. They are here to enforce the law, by arresting criminals after they have committed a crime. AFTER they have committed a crime.

We have a giant unsecured border to our south, a border in which we don’t seem to have a problem in dumping military grade hardware over(fast and furious). We have a gangster culture where we idolize thug mentality, and glamorize weaponizing youth against “the man”. To top it all off; We’ve got thousands of people from island nations screaming that gun control works and lining up to tell us what we need to do as they stand firmly under an umbrella of oppression.

Something tells me things are going to get much, much worse before they get any better…

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: I already know fear.

Even if I had a gun and bothered to train myself I’d know fear.

Because it’s not just the guns of law enforcement that scare me.

It’s that they have license to kill, imprison and torture me and my family with impunity.

And that they can bring in twenty guys. And there’s only one of me.

When it comes to the notion of defending ourselves against the police, that train has long left the station. Until a violent revolt gets organized it won’t have a thing against the police.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: I already know fear.

“Even if I had a gun and bothered to train myself I’d know fear.”

I’m not talking about simply being afraid of getting killed…I’m talking about the kind of fear that comes with someone trying to kill your family, and you without the means to protect them.

“And that they can bring in twenty guys. And there’s only one of me.”

No wonder we have a thug culture eh?

“It’s that they have license to kill, imprison and torture me and my family with impunity.”

You think it’s bad now, wait until they know you can’t defend yourself. They won’t need to send 20 guys anymore to get the job done.

“When it comes to the notion of defending ourselves against the police, that train has long left the station.”

I disagree. If you happen to be on the wrong side of an unprofessional and over reactive police force, and they know for sure your unarmed, they may just barge into your house and shoot you outright. But like most cowards, if they are not sure, they will wait until they have overwhelming firepower. That little bit of time is sometimes enough for people that never planed on letting it go that far, figure out how to surrender without being killed.

Bob says:

Mod Me up.

There’s a real simple fix to this.

In order for the government to award any cash restitution, there has to be a criminal conviction of a government employee involved (We either convict the person who did it, the person who trained them, or the official who drafted the plan). This way, society has some control over the purse strings through the Jury.

TenSteppin says:

Re: Mod Me up.

This situation demands that no “or” operation be allowed.

That means that everyone involved through action or inaction that allowed this to happen be brought to justice.
The same justice that anyone who kidnapped, wrongfully detained, raped repeatedly, physically and mentally abused.
Then triple the penalty due to the positions of power that these “so called” people held.

I am angry, very angry that this happened.

I am not angry enough to take the law into my own hands in any way, shape or form.

I am angry enough, however, to “wish” for full 10 fold karmic retribution on everyone involved in this heinous set of crimes.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Mod Me up.

What I’m saying is real simple.

The girl presses criminal charges. Obviously, to prosecute these SOB’s, you need to pay a lawyer. So you couple the reward from the suit with the criminal charges to prosecute because lets face it, government isn’t that good at policing itself. Then you let the community sort it out. Lawyer is going to find out real quick during discovery that this is or is not a good case and is therefor motivated to proceed or drop. If you need some starter cash to get the lawyer going, you buy insurance against your rights being trampled.

Cops know when they don’t tow the line or follow the law, their reputation and good standing are on the line.

This women was basically raped, tortured, and sodomized. The Jury is going to have a real hard time buying the “We really, really thought she had drugs, honest!” line.

Best of all, everyone gets to have their steak and potatoes, and doesn’t get riled up.

David says:

Re: Re: Re: Mod Me up.

This women was basically raped, tortured, and sodomized. The Jury is going to have a real hard time buying the “We really, really thought she had drugs, honest!” line.

What if she had?

We’d never have heard of it since the drugs would have been used to blackmail her into a plea deal involving her not suing for the violation of her sexual integrity. That’s the chance doctor and law enforcement chose to dig themselves in deeper for.

Once you let go of the legal and organizational structures cementing “criminals don’t have rights”, being mistaken for a criminal does not turn you into game for power-hungry perverts.

Ima Dork (profile) says:

You’d be mistaken for thinking that an administration whose president has two daughters close in age to this survivor might somehow, someway be circumspect about this kind of thing. Or that the President himself would be outraged over such awful behavior and, well, do something. But this administration, from top to bottom, strains credulity. It really does.

freedomfan (profile) says:

There are NO Fourth Amendment Free Zones !

I really do wonder what their probable cause was. IMO, they need to establish more solid evidence that she was actually carrying drugs than just having been a U.S. citizen coming back from Mexico. As best I can tell, their basis for suspicion is so outrageously overbroad that pretty much anyone coming back into the U.S. would be subject to this sort of assault.

I know that the best she can probably hope for is to win some cash in a civil suit. But, really, this needs to go back before the Supreme Court. The idea that the 4th amendment doesn’t exist at/near the border is utter nonsense and those people wearing black robes are paid to say so.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: There are NO Fourth Amendment Free Zones !

With respect to your subject: The Supreme Court disagrees with you, and is highly unlikely to revisit their opinion any time soon.

But as to your question: for what it’s worth I’ve got some first-hand knowledge of the geographic area.

From a behavioral perspective, regular spaced, short trips to/from Mexico can cause people to pop up on the probable cause radar for the border patrol – it’s actually not uncommon for such individuals to be (highly unsophisticated) small-scale drug traffickers – most often drugs that are available OTC in Mexico but that are RX only in the US. Think pain-killers or ADD-drug addicts looking to score, small-time dealers, etc.

None of which excuses what she was forced to endure.

TenStepper says:

Re: Re: There are NO Fourth Amendment Free Zones !

All that means is that the supreme court is in direct violation of the Constitution.

The constitution and the bill of rights applies to ANYONE and EVERYONE within the borders of this country.

Border crossings are within the borders of this country, that means the Constitution applies there as well.

Any SCJ that disagrees with that is in direct violation of their oaths of office and the constitution and should be treated as both a traitor to this country and an actor of treason against the constitution and bill of rights.

David says:

Re: There are NO Fourth Amendment Free Zones !

I really do wonder what their probable cause was. IMO, they need to establish more solid evidence that she was actually carrying drugs than just having been a U.S. citizen coming back from Mexico.

Before raping her and performing invasive procedures without legal authorization?

There is a difference between evidence incriminating a subject and evidence exonerating the action of law enforcement.

Please leave your “the ends justify the means” stance when crossing into civilized countries.

Anonymous Coward says:

Where are the pitchforks and angry crowds? Why aren’t communities coming together and kicking the feds out? Where are all the “good guys with guns” and why the hell aren’t they standing up to tyranny?

When shit like this happens, every single citizen should be contacting their reps and telling them that they do not want the border patrol operating in their state — even if it means losing some federal funding.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Where are all the “good guys with guns” and why the hell aren’t they standing up to tyranny?

“Good guys with guns” is typically in reference to armed non-government-agents intervening to stop imminent crime, not to address larger social problems. The problem here is not one specific and egregious case of rights abuse; it is a systemic problem created by the overlapping defenses of [officer’s] “good faith” and qualified immunity. Armed private response is not prepared to handle systemic abuse.

K`Tetch (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“good guys with guns” is a myth promoted by gun companies (and their lobbyists) to justify lobbying against public safety gun laws, and increase sales.

In reality, it almost never happens, and most of the time it does, it goes badly, like REALLY badly.

Let me put it this way – there was a 7 year audit of all firearms discharges by the NYPD. Their hit-rate was under 40%. That’s for guys entering a situation with training and having been schooled on the use of a weapon in such situations to meet a ‘minimum standard’. Just how accurate do you think Bubba Budweiser is going to be, when he’s surprised in a situation he’s had no experience of, and no training except maybe an hour or two now and then at a range, calmly plinking at paper targets with no adrenalin rush or fog of confusion?

Yeah, ‘good guy with a gun’ – the solution is worse than the problem.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Recent history of the NYPD...

…makes it a bad example for anything. Consider how stingy they have been with any data at all, I would find such an audit dubious at best.

Most police-on-suspect gunshots and murders are not reported, which is made conspicuous by the fact that they’re mandated to do so by federal law. The FBI, which is supposed to consolidate those reports has been disobeying for some years now. It is why we have to rely on non-profit organizations to match coroner reports and news reports, and when there is no news, often police kills just… disappear.

In a violent situation, there are no good guys with guns, but that especially includes government agents with firearms, who are above the laws that might disincentivize ordinary murderers. They are free to, and in fact encouraged to kill with impunity.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Prison Rape

You know, since we’re still in the wake of the Brock Turner affair, and we’re discussing what is a rape case, it would be nice if we could start regarding prison rape as the real and common thing it is.

And considering how many people get jailed for being in the wrong place, or for toking, you can be sure that plenty of people are getting their psyches wrecked and their bodies shredded for no real terrible heinous crime.

For those who’ve experienced it (or it’s snarky little brother, military rape, of which men are also the majority of victims), it’s really just a shitty thing that happens and not a thing to wish on anyone, even worst enemies.

Docrailgun says:

Miranda warnings

All the Miranda warnings do is try to protect you from incriminating yourself if you care to listen to the warning. That’s all.
It doesn’t:
-invalidate an arrest
-protect you from a search of your person or property
-force a law-enforcement agency to let you communicate with anyone
-let you get out of jail on bond
-invalidate any evidence found by the police (physical or admission of guilt) before your arrest or anything but your statements after your arrest
-keep police from acting on evidence found before or after an arrest or statements made by you before your arrest
-Get you out of jail if the policeman forgets to read you your Miranda warnng.

All it does is warn you that you have a right not to incriminate yourself by speaking to the police. That’s why they “detain” you in handcuffs and ask lots of questions before arresting you, because it becomes much harder to get statements admitted into evidence after the arrest and warnings.

The police or other LE groups can always search you because they will find a way to say they have probable cause to do so. What’re you going to do – sue them? The Miranda warning doesn’t do you a bit of good on that front.

This is why you never, ever, ever talk to a policeman, before your arrest, during, or after, but especially before. Civil-rights groups suggest asking if you’re being detained and if so, ask if you may go. If you don’t talk they will let you go if they don’t have evidence or they will arrest you because they think they have enough evidence. Either way it is up to the whim of the officer. If they do what they did to this lady… what’re you going to do? Sue them?

JoeCool (profile) says:

Re: Miranda warnings

A lot of folks are confused about Miranda Warnings in any case. They think (usually due to movies and TV) that a Miranda Warning must be given immediately or it’s a Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card. That’s not the case. The first point where police are required to give the Miranda Warning is prior to being ARRAIGNED, not arrested. Now they normally do give it as you are being arrested, but it’s not required, and many places don’t – the first you get the warning it right as they drag you before the judge to arraign you.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Waitaminute...TAR? Diagnosis?

Um… this is a process that shouldn’t be legitimate. A diagnosis and treatment are both consent mandatory, which means that the doctor has to explain in advance what the treatment is, and at any time the patient can request a different treating physician, or elect not to be treated.

If this was forced on her without consent, then there should be solid grounds by which to sue the doctor and the hospital for malpractice.

Even if state agents don’t need to observe Cervantes’ rights, the hospital and any practicing medical personnel do.

Anonymous Coward says:

While people are willing to call for more regulation and call for more laws against what they consider to be wrong, these kinds of situations will be the unforeseen consequences.

While people are not willing to stand up for principle and declare that they will stand and protect everyone around them, these kinds of situations will continue to grow more frequent.

While people consider their rights are worth more than the rights of others, these kinds of situations will increase in severity.

While people will not take responsibility for their own actions, these kinds of situations will become the norm.

The result of these kinds of actions by the government will one day mean that certain sections of the citizens will rise up and take vengeance. As a result, things will get worse still. We have so many historical examples of this and we haven’t learnt yet.

The time is now to stand up and make known your views with your representatives. It will take bravery to force the issue and you may well find yourself considered as an extremist. But you have the opportunity now to do something and make the changes now.

Ben (profile) says:

Tourism suffers?

If you start seeing international tourist numbers drop in the US it’ll be because of this kind of inhuman behaviour by agents of the state (be it State or Federal, I care not) towards other humans.

I’ve said for a number of years that I never once want to step within the boarders of the USA. I’ve found it easy to maintain that as it’s expensive to go there. Now I just have yet another reason to stick with that policy.

Justme says:

Just another day...

The doctor should lose his license, i certainly wouldn’t trust the mans judgement enough to give me medical advise or to so much as park my car.

A lot of us have come to expect this kind of behavior from anyone working in drug enforcement, they long ago abandoned all reason and humanity. Their lust for drugs is so insane the junkies are like, “Get a grip!”

But surely if we give them another 50 years and any remaining civil liberties, they will… still have lost the war on drugs.

* Notice no drugs were harmed in the the War on Drugs!

TwistedMatrix says:

Problems with funding border crossings...

If they go to so much effort on a presumed “drug carrier” without evidence, it is more than time to defund that crossing because they are staffed by the mentally deficient and morally corrupt agents who are apparently manged by people who are even worse.

The Government should bomb the border crossings from orbit, as it’s the only way to be sure to remove this taint from our country.

Either that, or move the border north by a mile or 2 and let the Mexican government fix it.

Citizen Vet says:

Gettin tired of hearing this crap.

The small amount of drugs she could have had up those orifaces seems very small and a small matter compared to rape, sodomy and a myriad of civil rights violations including her 4th amendment rights if not even CBP policy violations itself.

This is a crime against humanity. Everyone including the policy makers responsible for these attacks on “OUR” American citizens should be imprisoned for 20 years each.

Give that girl 20 Million dollars.

franklin says:

TEAR DOWN THAT FENCE! Why is Congress worrying about a fence around the White House …..when the White House has torn down the fence around this Nation?! If WE do not deserve a fence to protect OUR FAMILIES ….. then, NEITHER DOES HE.

When you protect your house …… do you lock each room, door by door? Each item, one by one? Or do you lock the BORDERS, the FENCES and outside doors? Why is this “government” locking each of us into individual cells instead of locking the BORDERS as any sane person who was ACTUALLY working to protect the House of FREEDOM would do?

Hussein Obama claims Congress “must do it’s Constitutional DUTY” by accepting his nominee, but Obama REFUSES to do HIS Constitutional DUTY of evicting illegal invaders and securing OUR borders “during a time of war on terror”. Hussein is the Chief Executive. Hussein’s PRIMARY CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY is to enforce the laws, yet he REFUSES to do so.
“our” politicians take oaths to uphold the LAW and the Constitution. When they REFUSE to, when they openly DEFY and circumvent the LAW, they FORFEIT their “Governmental Immunity”. Every Politician who goes on record as supporting ILLEGAL INVADERS should be held financially responsible for PAYING REPARATIONS for the crimes done by the ILLEGALS.
ALL immigrants must have SPONSORS who will be accountable for the actions of the immigrant. Supporters of ILLEGALS are ASSUMING SPONSORSHIP of all Illegals and therefore are FINANCIALLY responsible for CRIMES and LIFE SUPPORT of ALL illegals. NO illegals should be on TAXPAYER DOLE, they should be living on the wealth of the illegal SUPPORTERS and in THEIR HOUSES.
Start CIVIL FORFEITURE on the assets of Politicians that cover for ILLEGAL INVADERS. Since their “Government DUTIES consist of securing the Border” and they not only failed but REFUSE to secure the border they are no longer protected by “immunity”
A lowly COUNTY CLERK is jailed for refusing to “do her duty” by not issuing homosexuals marraige licenses, but when the CHIEF EXECUTIVE Obama places the Nation and untold numbers of Americans in IMMANENT DANGER by his REFUSAL to “DO HIS CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY” to enforce this Nation’s immigration laws and throws open the borders to UNTOLD invaders during a “War onTerror” he walks free?!

JonC (profile) says:

We need to start electing judges based on what people would do in situations like these if we want to see these situations stop. I may not have the traditional legal background to be a judge, but if a case like this came before me, it would be: no immunity for you, go directly to jail and stay there for a very long time. Maybe I’d be a better judge than some of those that are currently on the bench, even without the traditional, legal background.

Personanongrata says:

Banana Republic Border Patrol

Customs Agents, Local Doctor Subject 18-Year-Old To Vaginal, Rectal Probing In Search Of Nonexistent Drugs

If a person may be swept up into state custody without charge (check point or not) and then sexually molested by a US government stooge and quack of a doctor then the protections enumerated within the Constitution are worthless.

What kind of a doctor is Patrick F. Martinez?

Do doctors normally rape their patients while under direction of delusional government stooge?

What a complete disgrace.

Andy says:


the American people should be outraged at this but there are those that believe to protect Americans it should be the right of border agencies to abuse people and do things that go way beyond sexual abuse.All in search of drugs that are becoming legal in the USA.

It is sad how the politicians have used the fear of drugs the fear of terrorism to allow this type of abuse.

If this happened in a real democracy those responsible would be in jail for many decades and others would be warned of the same if they overstep there powers and abuse even one person , be it by detaining them for an extended period or physical or verbal abuse.
The organisation would be shut down and a vetted organisation would replace them.

John says:


I fucking hate Dr. Martinez he should be called a rapest or Isis for Forcing an innocent 18 yr. Old girl to see inside her Vagina and Push his fingers inside her Anus.

It would suck if she was a Virgin and he just took her innocence away for being an Animal.
This is my most Favorite… DISGUSTING HATEFUL PART. POOR (ASHLEY CERVANTES) 18 had her Tight innocent Holes Stuffed by a Man using Cold Medical Tools to look inside her… just think about it what if that was your daughter… I would have been out for blood I wouldn’t give a damn if I died by a cop shooting me I would want REVENGE FOR MY DAUGHTERS PRIVATE AREAS. FUCKING PIGS. I SHOULD SAY YOUR NO BETTER THEN THE ISLAMIC STATE THAT RAPES AND SALSS GIRLS 10 & UP.

Dr. Martinez, a male physician, entered Ashley’s room and, after asking a few cursory questions, brutally invaded her body on a warrantless and unjustified search for contraband.
Dr. Martinez forcefully and digitally probed Ashley’s vagina and anus.
Ashley had never before been to a gynecologist and, for the remainder of her life, will always remember that her first pelvic and rectal exams were under the most inhumane circumstances imaginable to a U.S. citizen at a hospital on U.S. soil.
The searches conducted by the CBP Agents, Holy Cross and Dr. Martinez injured Ashley physically, mentally and emotionally. Her labia, vaginal opening, and anus were left raw and sore and she felt violated, demeaned and powerless as a result of the searches.

THE doctor That performed the rape should apologize for scarring her for life. Poor thing I’m very sorry. ????????

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