Women recruits for Nebraska State Patrol forced to have vaginal exams, says lawsuit

Aug. 3 (UPI) — A female state trooper filed a federal lawsuit against the Nebraska State Patrol for allegedly forcing female recruits to undergo “medically unnecessary and sexually invasive” medical examinations as part of their pre-employment evaluation.

Trooper Brienne Splittgerber also said NSP leaders refused to fully investigate a male doctor who conducted “outrageous” exams of female genitals for three years and then tried to cover-up the incidents, reported the Omaha World-Herald.

During her September 2014 physical, Splittgerber said Dr. Stephen Haudrich told her to remove her pants and expose her genitalia and anus so he could check for a hernia.

Splittberger later consulted her regular doctor, who told her “there was and is no legitimate medical purpose for the above-described procedure in a pre-employment physical examination,” said Splittberger’s attorney, Thomas White.

White said that except for one exception, male recruits were not given the same evaluation, reported the Lincoln Journal Star.

“Subjecting the plaintiff and other female trooper candidates to a medically unnecessary and sexually invasive procedure is outrageous conduct which goes beyond all possible bounds of decency and is utterly intolerable in a civilized community,” the lawsuit stated.

Splittgerber, an experienced officer who previously worked as an officer in Alabama and Tennessee, said she learned of other female recruits who were subjected to the same exams and filed a complaint in 2015. But no action was taken at the time.

Gary Young, an attorney for the State Troopers Association of Nebraska, said the union was also aware of several complaints and said the exams have stopped, according to the Kearney Hub.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts released a statement about the lawsuit through his spokesman, Taylor Gage.

“Immediately upon learning of these allegations in June, the Governor instructed his Chief Human Resources Officer to review this matter, which has subsequently resulted in a criminal investigation by the State Patrol,” Gage said.

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