via Getty Images

Three Latina former-police officers are suing the Harris County Constable Precinct 1 in Texas for damages. The lawsuit alleges that the women were molested and sexually assaulted by colleagues. The assaults happened in “undercover” Bachelor parties where they were asked to pretend to be sex workers.

The lawsuit says senior officers in Harris County “handpicked young Latina women with no undercover training” to participate in stings. It was at these undercover bachelor parties that they were groped, molested, and assaulted by fellow officers.

One of the young women says that one of her superiors–Chief Chris Gore–would attend these parties only in his underwear. Before the operation started, he would take off her bra. At the party, he would drink excessively and lie on top of the women, groping their breasts and bodies. Chief Core and another officer, Lt. Shane Rigdon, would encourage the women to drink heavily also.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Chief Gore also took this same Latina to a sex shop where he would pick out provocative clothing for her to wear and sexual props for her to use. He then forced the young woman to try on the outfit in his office and “work on chemistry with her.” He warned other officers away from his co-worker, saying that she was “his”.

When the women filed complaints, and in some cases, quit, they were mocked and criticized by their co-workers.

Before they were hired, the women were all asked if they would “do whatever it takes” to make an arrest. Apparently, “whatever it takes” included being sexually assaulted and humiliated by colleagues. After the first recruit resigned, the police department recruited another young Latina. In “preparation” for her role, she had to give her supervisors a lap dance.

The Harris County police recruited a third Latina officer who was asked to perform a sex-trafficking sting at a massage parlor. The county’s constable told the woman to “wait to be sexually assaulted” before giving the raid signal. This woman says she was raped at the massage parlor.

Now, these women are banding together for this lawsuit in order to draw attention to the “pervasive practice of sexual harassment in law enforcement.”

“We are here to speak truth to power so that this never happens to any more women and children ever again,” said one of the women in a recent press conference. As their lawyer lawyer told reporters: “[These women] were not treated as police officers whatsoever. They were treated as objects.”

As for the supervisors of Harris County Constable Precinct 1, they deny any wrongdoing whatsoever. “This lawsuit is an effort to impugn the good reputation of the hard-working men and women of the Precinct One Constable’s Office,” said Constable Alan Rosen. “I believe our system of due process works and that justice and truth will prevail as facts in this case come to light.” He also added that he has a “zero-tolerance stance” towards sexual harassment and assault.