Woman allegedly subjected to vaginal search on side of road to settle lawsuit

Natalie Simms claimed San Antonio police were looking for drugs when a female officer searched her vagina and pulled out her tampon on a street curb.
By David K. Li

A San Antonio woman, who accused police of subjecting her to a vaginal search outside on a street curb, has reached a tentative $205,000 settlement with the city.

The payout to Natalie Simms must be formally approved by the San Antonio City Council and the deal is on the board's Thursday agenda.

"It is in the best interest of the City to settle this matter to avoid the uncertainties and risks associated with litigation in a case of disputed damages," according to the council agenda item. "Staff recommended approval of this item."

Simms claimed in a federal lawsuit filed last year that she was sitting on a curb on Aug. 8, 2016, talking on a phone and waiting for her boyfriend when police approached and accused her of having illegal drugs. A female police detective allegedly pulled Simms' pants open and searched Simms' vaginal area, pulling out her tampon in the process.

An embarrassed Simms asked if the search could be done in a police station and out of public view, according to a tape recording of the encounter cited in the lawsuit.

"I ain't going nowhere, I'm going to search you right here," the detective said, according to the suit.

No drugs were found, the suit said.

David K. Li

David K. Li is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.