CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – A group of women who used the women’s locker room at the West Virginia State Police Academy is considering suing the State Police. 13 News Reporter Rachel Pellegrino spoke with Teresa Toriseva, a Wheeling-based trial lawyer, who is representing them.
The pending lawsuit filed by Toriseva alleges invasion of privacy and destruction of evidence. She said about a dozen women have already come forward, and they’re outraged about the hidden camera in the women’s locker room.
“This group of women really want answers,” she said. “And there’s alarm at this video of the destruction of evidence especially by top brass at the agency in the state of West Virginia charged with preserving evidence.”
The incident happened sometime before March of 2016, but it wasn’t discovered until after the person who allegedly hid the camera died. According to Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV), the three troopers who found the camera destroyed a thumb drive that allegedly had the images from the locker room on them.
“This needs fixed, first uncovered, the light has to be shined on it, and then fixed,” Toriseva said. “That is the only way that the state would be able to overcome what is absolutely going to be a devastating impact on female recruitment in law enforcement in West Virginia.”
After the State Police received the notice of the potential lawsuit, the new superintendent of the West Virginia State Police Colonel Jack Chambers released an apology letter to those women who may have been victimized.
Col. Chambers said an investigation will be conducted to develop a timeline and identify all potential victims of the crime. He also said counseling and therapy services will be made available.
The full letter can be read here.