07:29 GMT07 March 2021
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    An Arizona woman who was billed after being subjected to a humiliating full body cavity search by border patrol has now filed a lawsuit against the agency.

    After a short trip to Mexico, Ashley Cervantes, who was 19 at the time, was detained by Customs and Border Protection for eight hours as they falsely accused her of smuggling drugs across the border inside her body. She was given no explanation for their suspicions.

    "We believe they used at least two different K9s on her for the purpose of trying to get them to alert.  We don't know why they used two.  Did the first one not alert and were they fishing for one that would? Or did the first one alert and there were looking for a second one to corroborate it?" Brian Marchetti, Cervantes’ lawyer, told local station KGUN.

    Cervantes alleges that after the K9’s were brought out, she was patted down, handcuffed, and told she was being taken to the hospital for an X-ray. 

    However, when she got to the hospital she was probed by a male physician.

    “A male physician enters the room, asks her a few questions, we believe, and proceeds to conduct a full body cavity search on the vaginal and rectal cavities and young Ashley who was nineteen at the time had not yet in her life been to a  gynecologist and her first ever pelvic exams were conducted in that setting,” Marchetti said.

    The doctor confirmed that Cervantes had no drugs inside of her body following the intrusive search, and eventually she was released. Her parents were then mailed a bill for $575. 

    Cervantes had the option of suing the agency anonymously, but chose to speak out publicly on the issue in hopes that maybe she can prevent what she went through from happening to someone else.

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    Tags:
    Cavity Search, Border Patrol, Customs and Border Protection, Ashley Cervantes, Arizona, Mexico
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