New details emerge in Phoenix Police body cavity search controversy

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- New details are emerging in the case of a Phoenix Police officer accused of illegally performing a body cavity search on a woman.

That woman is now filing a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the city.

Phoenix Police officials have confirmed the search did happen, and the misconduct was investigated, resulting in the officer's suspension. FOX 10 has obtained a copy of the police report, which reveals what the woman confessed to.

Erica Reynolds, 37, is the latest person to go public with claims of Phoenix Police misconduct. She said she was sexually assaulted by a female officer, who performed an illegal body cavity search on her last December. According to an incident report, Reynolds confessed she did have hidden drugs inside her body at the time of the illegal search.

"It's important to note that this attempt to lie cover up smear and initmidate victims of police violence is not new to this department," said Reynolds' attorney, Heather Hamel.

Attorneys for Reynolds filed a $12.5 million Notice of Claim, saying a Phoenix officer sexually assaulted Reynolds during an illegal strip search, and tried to cover it up. A report of the body cavity search, which Phoenix Police confirm did happen, was never generated.

Reynolds was part of an 18-month long narcotics sales investigation, after which nearly two dozen people have been arrested and prosecuted. The only time an officer references the December 26, 2018 incident is in a report generated by detectives, who interrogated Reynolds after her February arrest. In police records obtained by FOX 10, the detective wrote that Reynolds told him she put a bag with 10 pills of oxycodone inside her lower body, after she pulled over for a traffic stop and before officers approached her. She repeated the confession two more times during the interrogation. Police records do not mention that a female officer conducted a body cavity search on Reynolds, but did not find the drugs she had confessed to hiding in her body.

Reynolds' attorney said the confessions were coerced from her, and made under duress after police refused to allow her to talk to her attorney. Reynolds is facing several narcotics counts, but so far, charges have not been prosecuted.