In February, a New York woman was pulled over by an NYPD officer for not having an inspection sticker on her car. The events that unfolded from there has here now suing an officer for allegedly seeing -- and forwarding -- provocative pictures and video that was stored on her cellphone taken for her boyfriend's eyes only.
The New York Daily News reported the lawyer of 27-year-old Pamela Held is accusing NYPD Officer Sean Christian of sending this content from her phone to his own.
An NYPD van (Photo: Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com)
Here's how the situation went down:
Held’s nightmarish ordeal unfolded the night of Feb. 6 when five cops in a police van pulled over her Sentra in Ridgewood because it had no inspection sticker. The cops found prescription drugs in the car, so the officers, including Christian, hauled Held and her pal to the stationhouse.
When cops began grilling her about her whereabouts that night, Held told them she was visiting a friend and had text messages to prove it. She gave one officer the security code to open her phone and pointed out the messages. Then police left the room, with the phone, while she was processed on misdemeanor drug charges.
When she was eventually free to leave the station and was returned her phone, the Daily News reported Held saying she saw a strange number had been sent several attachments -- 20 nude photos and five videos.
From there, Held contacted attorney Richard Soleymanzadeh, who was able to trace the phone number to Christian.
Christian denied forwarding the photos and told the Daily News the number associated with them belonged to his brother. He also denied having any contact with Held and noted that he didn't work at the 104th Precinct where she was taken in.
But the Daily News reported sources at the police department saying the 41-year-old officer did work at this precinct located in Queens. The source also confirmed that Christian was being investigated by the department's Internal Affairs office due to Held's accusations.
The investigation by this office secretly recorded a phone call between Held and Christian. Internal Affairs were not able to find evidence that Christian had ever received the explicit content on this phone though.
Still, Held is worried.
"It makes me sick," she told the Daily News. "I don’t even want to think about what he’s done with them."
Although Held appears to have willingly given her phone and password to the officer while at the station, the ability of police officers to search cellphones without a warrant has been a hot topic in recent years. In California, such warrantless cellphone searches are allowable upon arrest, and New Jersey is considering legislation that would allow authorities to search cellphones of those involved in car accidents.
Featured image via Shutterstock.com.