SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A retired Los Angeles police officer and U.S. Army veteran who alleges she was sexually assaulted and unlawfully arrested at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry has filed a lawsuit against the federal government and the unidentified officer who allegedly assaulted her.
Janine Bouey alleges that on June 16, 2020, an officer pulled her out of the pedestrian lanes while she was trying to re-enter the United States from Tijuana, where she had undergone a dental appointment.
Despite having her passport and other identification at the ready and declaring multiple times that she was a U.S. citizen, Bouey says she was repeatedly asked about her citizenship, then later arrested, fondled by a female CBP officer and forced to disrobe in front of officers as part of an apparent inspection.
In a statement, a CBP spokesperson said, “As a matter of policy, CBP does not comment on matters under litigation. Lack of comment should not be construed as agreement or stipulation with any of the allegations.”
Bouey and her attorneys announced last summer that they would be filing a claim regarding the incident and a lawsuit was filed Monday in San Diego federal court.
In the complaint, Bouey alleges she was initially approached by a male CBP officer whose tone “was flirtatious and pushy, and he pressed Ms. Bouey to give him her home address.”
When she refused, she alleges he pulled her out of line and into the main building at the port of entry.
Once inside, she allegedly was fondled by a female officer — identified as Jane Doe in the complaint — on two separate occasions, then handcuffed and shackled to a bench.
She alleges the officers ignored her requests to look up her information in order to verify her citizenship.
Later, she was taken to a different room where she was instructed to remove her clothes, then bend over and squat while one of the officers shined a flashlight into her vaginal area, according to the lawsuit.
She says she was again shackled to a bench, but eventually another officer said she was free to go. Bouey says she asked that officer how he would feel if his mother had undergone similar treatment, to which he allegedly responded, “these things happen.”
The lawsuit seeks a jury trial against the unidentified female officer and a bench trial against the government on claims of negligence, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and interference of constitutional rights by force or threat of violence.
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