A wife and mother says she was raped by an officer at the Harris County, Texas jail after being arrested for having a very small amount of medical marijuana.
Emma Lopez, 26, says that on March 1, a Katy ISD police officer pulled her over for allegedly speeding in a school zone, just a few blocks from her home, reported ABC 13.
The news station stated that in police bodycam video, Lopez is cooperative and polite during the stop.
Just a few minutes into the stop, the officer said he smelled marijuana. “The minute I stopped you, I could smell marijuana on your car,” the officer said.
Lopez explains she uses it to control her seizures, pointing to a small herb grinder with less than half a gram of cannabis inside.
“I have seizures and I don’t even smoke very much,” she said.
But the officer didn’t care, because he pulled her over in a school zone.
“Unfortunately, you’re going to jail today,” the officer said to Lopez.
Things continued to decline for Lopez after she was arrested and sent to the Harris County Jail. That night, Lopez says she was raped by a jailer.
“I was moved to a holding cell by myself,” Lopez recalled. A few hours after that, a jailer entered her cell. “After he asked me to get up and put me up against the wall and handcuffed me, he pulled my pants down and pulled his pants down and I froze. I asked him not to do it. He said, ‘If I say anything, he would do it again, and I wouldn’t be able to say anything.'”
Speaking with ABC 13, Lopez and her attorneys said she complained to several female jailers after she was sexually assaulted. Unfortunately, they silently supported the rapist and the female jailers told Lopez to sit down and continue to wait to be processed.
After being released, Lopez went to a hospital to be examined for rape, and the crime was reported to a Harris County Sheriff’s investigator.
“There’s surveillance, there’s jail calls, there’s a number of elements that support Mrs. Lopez in her outcry in what happened to her,” said Michael Edwards, Lopez’s Houston attorney.
“People are incarcerated for serious crimes, and we throw a young woman in jail for .48 grams,” said Gregory Kulis, a Chicago-based attorney who specializes in police abuse cases. “She has been seeking psychiatric help. She is traumatized over this incident, and we believe a jury will justly compensate her.”
Attorneys say Lopez never should have been arrested in the first place, pointing out that Harris County District Attorney’s Office has not been prosecuting people found with small amounts of marijuana.
Katy ISD says it was an arrestable offense because she was stopped in a school zone.