Strip Search Part 5: Strip search case prompts 5th woman to come forward

7:23 PM, Jun 6, 2008   |    comments
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STARK COUNTY -- A Stark County woman told Channel 3 News Investigator Tom Meyer that she was told to remove all her clothes inside the Stark County Jail after deputies made several off-color remarks.

"Elizabeth" fears reprisals for speaking out so she prefers we not use her last name.

She says a Stark County Sheriff's deputy pulled her over one night for failing to signal during a lane change. Elizabeth says she had to undergo a field sobriety test. According to the officer's incident report, she failed some aspects of the test. She was arrested for driving under the influence and taken to the station for further testing.

She was told to blow into a breathylyzer, but she suffers from asthma. When she failed to produce enough air, she says a deputy told her, "Baby we both know you can blow harder than that. She says a second deputy laughed. The officer marked her as a "refusal" for not blowing harder.

Elizabeth decided to tell her story when she saw video of Hope Steffey strip searched by both male and female deputies. Steffey was left naked in a cell for 6 hours.

When Elizabeth was told to remove all her clothes, she did so voluntarily saying she worked at a medium security prison in Ohio and knew her clothes would be forcibly removed if she failed to obey.

The incident report says Elizabeth wanted to commit suicide. But she says that's just not true. "I've never been suicidal. I'm not suicidal. I was terrified," she told the Investigator. The Sheriff's office said medical personnel decide if an inmate should be placed on suicide watch, not sheriff deputies.

Elizabeth was charged with drinking and driving, and assault for kicking a deputy. She decided to defend herself when a deputy placed his hands on her hips. She explained that she had been the victim of a sexual assault while employed at the prison.

The assault charge in the Stark County case was dropped on the condition she plead guilty to operating a vehicle while intoxicated. She reluctantly took the deal.

Strip Search, initial story

Strip Search #2

Strip Search #3

Strip Search #4


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