A young woman in Katy, Texas, is suing over allegations that she was raped after being jailed for possessing one-half gram of marijuana.
An officer pulled the woman over for speeding and claimed he smelled marijuana. The young woman explains how she has seizures and uses marijuana to control them. The officer says, “Well, unfortunately, ma’am, you’re going to jail today,” and arrested her.
This is unusual these days because late last year, Harris County, Texas, announced a policy of decriminalization for amounts under four ounces.
The policy, set to begin March 1, means that misdemeanor offenders with less than four ounces of marijuana will not be arrested, ticketed or required to appear in court if they agree to take a four-hour drug education class, officials said.
Since there is no arrest, there is no arrest record. Since there is no court date, there are no court documents connected to the encounter. The plan calls for officers to seize the marijuana and drop it off at a police station at the end of their shift, along with a record of the encounter in case the suspect does not take the class.
“You do not get charged with anything,” Assistant District Attorney David Mitcham, who heads the DA’s trial bureau, said Wednesday. “You have a pathway where you can avoid going to court.”
That decriminalization was set to begin March 1, 2018.
The woman was pulled over and arrested on March 1, 2018.
In a teary interview with KTRK ABC 13 in Houston, the woman explained what happened after she was placed in a cell in the Harris County Jail.
“I was moved to a holding cell by myself,” [she] recalled. A few hours after that, a jailer allegedly came into the cell. “After he asked me to get up and put me up against the wall and handcuffed me, he pulled my pants down and pulled his pants down and I froze. I asked him not to do it. He said, ‘If I say anything, he would do it again, and I wouldn’t be able to say anything.'”
In an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News, [the woman] and her attorneys say she outcried to several female jailers after she was assaulted. They say the female jailers told [her] to sit down and continue to wait to be processed.
Officials with law enforcement in Katy say that she was arrested because she was possessing that half-gram of marijuana within a school zone.