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DPS Disputes Sexual Assault Claims

The Texas Department of Public Safety is disputing allegations that a state trooper sexually assaulted a woman while he arrested her on suspicion of drunken driving.

A lawyer representing the woman says the trooper offered to let her go during a field sobriety test Sunday in exchange for sexual favors. Attorney Lee Merritt says in statement Monday that his client declined the trooper's advances and that the trooper then groped her and forced something into her vagina. It's unclear whether Merritt is pursuing a civil or criminal case.

Ellis County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Joe Fitzgerald said she was booked into the county jail at 4:58 a.m. Sunday and has been released on bail. Fitzgerald said she was taken to a local hospital after reporting she was assaulted.

The Department of Public Safety said it reviewed dashcam video after hearing the allegations and that the recording shows no evidence to support her claims. The agency said it would forward the video to the Ellis County prosecutor for review.

Ellis County District Attorney Patrick Wilson's office did not return a voicemail seeking comment.

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