(WTRF) – Was I taped?
The attorney representing a group of female law enforcement officers who filed intent to sue the West Virginia State Police Academy said that’s what her clients want to know.
Teresa Toriseva told 7News concern among these women is growing after it was found these officers may have been videotaped.
As more come forward to take legal action the new question becomes how far back does this go?
City police officers, county deputies or state troopers around the state, both active and retired, all women want to know was I taped?Teresa Toriseva, Trial Lawyer
An anonymous letter sparked an all-out investigation into the West Virginia State Police, but the issue here is a camera that was found in the women’s locker room.
It’s incredible that the women who wear the badge and carry a firearm as part of their daily job to keep the rest of us safe don’t and can’t feel safe when they’re training in their locker room.Teresa Toriseva, Trial Lawyer
Any police officer in West Virginia is required to have training at the State Police Academy.
This investigation is going as far back as 2014 and may dive even deeper into the past.
So, Toriseva said the number of women potentially impacted continues to grow.
We’re looking as far back now as the alleged perpetrator, who is now deceased, would of served at the academy because any woman who would of served at that time would of used the locker room. If he had access and he was there as top brass or an official at the academy he certainly could have engaged in the same behavior.Teresa Toriseva, Trial Lawyer
Toriseva said the investigation should also continue into the time after the alleged perpetrator’s death.
Apparently for years after his death there was some sort of coverup.Teresa Toriseva, Trial Lawyer
Governor Jim Justice said an investigation revealed the evidence was destroyed by someone within the West Virginia State police, which Toriseva explained makes it difficult to find out which of these women were videotaped and when the camera was there.
We expect this problem to get worse before it gets better, but it’s always hard to shine a light.Teresa Toriseva, Trial Lawyer
The new Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police, Colonel J.C. Chambers, publicly apologized to the women who were victimized.
Toriseva said that’s a start, but plenty of questions still need answered.
An apology is just the beginning. Acknowledgement is just the beginning of correcting the harm, but we haven’t even fully yet developed exactly how extensive the taping in the video locker room was for women, policewomen all over the state.Teresa Toriseva, Trial Lawyer
Toriseva said the woman who came forward are doing so anonymously because many fear retaliation in some way.
They have conveyed to me time and time again this isn’t’ about the rank and file, men and women of the West Virginia State Police. This is about top brass and those that are in charge setting the wrong tone. Culture begins at the top.Teresa Toriseva, Trial Lawyer
She also said this group of female law enforcement are proud of the work they do as officers.