Illinois State Trooper Corey Alberson, who originally faced a felony charge of aggravated battery, has been found guilty of a lesser assault charge after roadside strip search incident which was captured on his patrol car’s dashboard camera.
Troopers Corey Alberson and Chris Currier stopped Anthony Campbell after they received an informant’s tip that a car of the same color as the one Campbell was driving was transporting drugs. When the initial search left Alberson empty handed, he pulled down Campbell’s pants without the man’s consent to inspect his “buttocks and genitals” with a flashlight.
Strip searching is illegal unless a person is arrested and suspected of carrying drugs or weapons, and has to be conducted in private if approved.
According to prosecutors, Alberson didn’t activate a microphone on his belt during the encounter, citing a technical failure, and never reported the traffic stop to patrol dispatchers.
The victim, who has no criminal record and wasn’t charged with any violations during the East St. Louis traffic stop, only spoke up after an Illinois State Police supervisor found the dashcam recording of the incident. At a bench trial Campbell testified that he felt humiliated and insulted by the illegal strip-search.
“I felt very insulted,” he said during testimony. “I had never been treated like that by a police officer.”
Circuit Judge Jan Fiss said the video made it obvious that the victim’s rights were violated, and that Alberson crossed the line after a pat-down search had already been conducted by Currier 11 minutes earlier.
“This is a case of the men and women of the Illinois State Police doing their job, standing up for the integrity of their profession and protecting the fragile trust they have built over the years with the citizens they serve,” said St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly of the guilty conviction.
“When a citizen resists the police or attacks the police we take action and when the police bring us evidence of one of their officers crossing the line we must also take action.”
Trooper Alberson has been suspended since June 2014 without pay, pending the outcome of the trial. He now faces up to one year in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced on October 22.
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