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Sexual assault charges for trooper

Two Texas State Troopers found themselves on the other side of the law when a Dallas County grand jury recently indicted them for their alleged behavior during a vehicle stop a few months ago.

CBS 11 News in Dallas reports that the officers pulled a vehicle over, and a female officer conducted a cavity search of the two female occupants, according to charges. A dashcom video recorder in the patrol car documented the roadside search.

The female trooper was charged with two counts of sexual assault and two counts of official oppression. She was discharged from the Texas State Troopers. The other trooper, a male, was charged with theft, because one of the women in the vehicle claimed he had taken a bottle of prescription painkillers when he searched the car. He has been suspended from the force.

Registration after a sex crime conviction

If the accused female trooper is found guilty of sex crimes, she will be treated like others who have been convicted of such crimes. Texas law requires that people convicted of sex-based offenses must comply with the provisions of the Texas Sex Offender Registration Program.

Those who have been convicted of a sex offense are required to register with law enforcement authorities in the city where they live, after completing any jail time. They must provide information including name and address, the offense they were convicted of and a color photograph. The information is added to a statewide database maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety, and it is also entered into a registry in the local office where it is submitted.

The statewide TXDPS sex offender database is readily available on the Internet for use by the public. Local law enforcement offices must also allow the public to access their local records, either through their own websites or by publication in area newspapers.

If a registrant has been committed of a sex crime that creates a classification of high risk, TXDPS steps in and notifies all residents and businesses in the registrant's community by mail, providing information about the registrant.

Other consequences of conviction

Besides having to register, persons convicted of sexual offenses must check in periodically with the local police. They are required to verify the information they provided for the registry and must update it if there are any changes. Failing to follow up can result in additional felony charges and penalties.

Under our system, everyone accused of a sex crime is innocent until proven guilty. The officer who was recently indicted will have an opportunity to defend herself in a court of law. Anyone who has been charged with a sex offense needs a capable defense attorney who can offer a vigorous defense against the charges.