A woman’s claims that she was raped by a Texas state trooper have been debunked following the release of police body cam footage proving no sexual assault ever occurred.
Texas DPS Officer Daniel Hubbard has been cleared amid allegations he sexually assaulted Sherita Dixon-Cole, who he pulled over on suspicion of DUI in the early morning of May 20. Dixon-Cole was arrested and booked into the Ellis County Jail, where she was charged with driving while intoxicated, WFAA reported.
After her arrest, however, the woman claimed Hubbard made sexual advances towards her and offered to let her slide if she had sex with him. When she refused, Dixon-Cole claimed she was sexually assaulted both inside and outside of Hubbard’s police cruiser, alleging the officer “placed his hands back up her skirt and penetrated her vagina.”
Social justice activist Shaun King shared Dixon-Cole’s story on his social media pages where it went viral, as he and his supporters demanded justice for the “sexual assault victim.”
Dixon-Cole was released from jail the following day and sought treatment at a hospital for her “injuries.” Her attorney, S. Lee Merritt, pressed the Texas Department of Public Safety to release police dash cam video of the traffic stop, which he was sure would corroborate his client’s claims. That wasn’t the case.
Upon investigation, DPS officials determined the footage showed zero evidence of a rape or sexual assault. Authorities released the nearly two-hour clip on Tuesday, clearing Hubbard of any wrongdoing in the case, WFAA reported.
“… The video shows absolutely no evidence to support the egregious and unsubstantiated accusations against the Trooper during the DWI arrest of the suspect,” DPS staff lieutenant Lonny Haschel said in a statement. “The Department is appalled that anyone would make such a despicable, slanderous and false accusation against a peace officer who willingly risks his life every day to protect and serve the public.”
Merritt released a statement Wednesday in response to the newly released footage, apologizing for the trouble his client’s claims have caused Hubbard and his family.
“The body camera footage released directly conflicts with the accounts reported to my office,” he wrote. “There is no readily apparent evidence of tampering with the footage.”
“I take full responsibility for amplifying these claims to the point of national concern,” the attorney added.
Press Release concerning released body-cam footage by Texas DPS pic.twitter.com/ExpbgmJEH5
— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) May 23, 2018
As for King, the journalist has since deleted all his posts concerning Dixon-Cole’s story but hasn’t made a public statement about the police video.