Man says he was molested by trooper — then victimized by viral video
A man who said he had his genitals and anus fingered by a state trooper looking for marijuana — which police never found — is suing the State Police over both the traffic stop as well as their decision to release a bodycam video of the search.
The Toms River man says the body search on the side of the road in March 2017 amounted to a sexual assault. His legal complaint also argues that State Police should not have released the video to the public.
Levine's description of the search has not been corroborated by the State Police, which continues to investigate the incident and Levine's allegation, a spokesman said Friday.
New Jersey 101.5 and other media outlets obtained the video after it was requested by open-government advocate John Paff, who routinely obtains police videos and public documents under the state Open Public Records Act.
Troopers who pulled over Levine in Burlington County claimed to smell marijuana on him. But they never found any evidence of the contraband and let him go with a tailgating ticket.
The inside of Levine's pants were searched by a trooper wearing gloves after Levine insisted that he had no marijuana.
"If you think this is the worst thing I'm going to do to you right now, you have another thing coming my friend," Trooper Joseph Drew is heard telling him on the video.
"Yo [...] you are really on some wild-ass shit right now," Levine shouts as he's being searched. "Whoo-hoo. You better hope this is legal."
"Did you find it? Did you find it? Yo, you guys are really ridiculous. You might as well ask me on a f--king date," he continues as the officer unzips his pants. "Yo, this motherf-----'s a f----t."
"I know you just sexually assaulted me, but I'm not going to kill myself," Levine tells the trooper.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.