More women allege illegal strip search in LaSalle County jail - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

More women allege illegal strip search in LaSalle County jail

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

In the week since Dana Holmes' attorneys released a videotape, claiming that she was physically abused and stripped naked by sheriff's deputies in the LaSalle County jail, five other women have contacted her attorney with similar allegations.

"So far they all involve misdemeanor offenses or traffic offenses," attorney Terry Ekl explains. "Each of the women complained that they were humiliated by being stripped of their clothes. A couple of them who saw the video said it was in the same room that Dana Holmes' occurred."

In her only TV interview, the 33-year-old Holmes told the Fox News Channel that she deserved to be arrested for DUI, but what happened afterward was demeaning and terrifying.

"I was patted down by female officer and I was cooperating and I was forcibly attacked on the floor by three other male officers.. carried by all four officers to cell where they stripped me.. naked and left me lying on the floor," Holmes told Fox News. "I felt very degraded, very scared, felt very helpless."

A strip search is legal in Illinois if officers have a reasonable belief that a person is concealing weapons or drugs, if the search is approved by a superior, and if it's done by an officer of the same sex in a secluded area. Ekl says his latest interviews with the five additional women who have come forward don't provide any explanation for the deputies' alleged misconduct.

"Either they're stupid and ignorant of the law, or they're extremely arrogant, and want to humiliate prisoners, or they've never been trained as to when they can actually conduct a proper strip search," Ekl says. "I'm starting to reach the conclusion it's probably a combination of all of the above.

LaSalle County Sheriff Thomas Templeton has so far declined to comment on the strip search allegations.

Ekl wants LaSalle County prosecutors to bring criminal charges against the four deputies seen on the tape.

Prosecutors are also declining to discuss the case.

The videotape in Dana Holmes' incident was obtained by her defense lawyers shortly after her arrest last spring.

Ekl says he doesn't know whether the incidents alleged by the five other women were caught on tape, or whether those tapes are still around.

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