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Woman claims she was sexually assaulted by female Phoenix police officer during body cavity search

The woman on Monday filed a notice of claim against the City of Phoenix for $12.5 million.

PHOENIX, Ariz — A woman has filed a $12.5 million notice of claim against the City of Phoenix saying she was sexually assaulted by a female Phoenix police officer during a body cavity search.

Erica Reynolds says the search happened back in December. Reynolds' attorneys filed the notice of claim Monday. 

Phoenix police say Reynolds is a suspect in a drug investigation that spanned a year and a half involving "at least 30 other co-conspirators."

According to police, Reynolds was arrested on December 26, 2018, and taken to the Phoenix Police Department South Mountain Precinct. 

At that time, police say officers believed Reynolds had illegal drugs "on her person", so officers requested a female officer to search Reynolds. 

Police say Reynolds did admit that day to purchasing and possessing illegal drugs, but she wasn't booked. 

The next day police say Reynolds reported the body search as unlawful, which is when the Phoenix Police Professional Standards Bureau conducted an internal investigation. That investigation led to an officer being disciplined and suspended in late February. 

Police say it was at the conclusion of the investigation on February 6, 2019, that Reynolds was arrested in the drug-related investigation. 

Phoenix police released the following statement which reads in part: 

"The Phoenix Police Department takes allegations of misconduct seriously and it is our goal to be receptive, accountable and transparent. In this case, an investigation was launched immediately upon learning of this incident." 

During a news conference, Monday, Reynolds' supporters and attorneys called for transparency and the firing of the officers involved. 

"They lied to her attorneys about having her in police custody and they interrogated her for hours. Then finally, they recommended criminal charges against her, these charges have not been pursued by a prosecutor to date," Heather Hamel, an attorney with The People's Law Firm said.

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