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More Detainees Allege Illegal Strip Searches By LaSalle Deputies

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(CBS) — Another suit has been filed in U.S. District Court accusing LaSalle County sheriff’s deputies of illegally stripping people they detained.

In the latest 30-page, 14-count civil complaint, filed Thursday, three women and a man claimed they were stripped by sheriff’s deputies without provocation and left naked in their cells for anywhere from 12 hours to two days.

Two of the women claimed they were thrown to the floor for no reason.

The three women were being held on misdemeanor disorderly conduct or domestic battery charges.  State law allows strip-searches of those charged with misdemeanors only if guards have reason to believe they are concealing a weapon or drugs, but all say no attempt was made to search them.

All say they were denied access to toilets, and that they were told instead to use a floor drain.  One woman said she was given a uniform to appear in court, where bond was set, only to have the uniform taken away as soon as she returned to the jail.

The women claim that a security camera monitored them while they were naked in the cell, and that male guards were able to watch them.

Their attorney is Terry Ekl, who was already representing a Coal City woman who claims she was illegally stripped last spring.  That case is under review by the state’s appellate prosecutor.

Each of the four seek a minimum of $100,000 in damages, and the suit seeks to establish a class action on behalf of anyone else who may have been stripped illegally by LaSalle County deputies.

WBBM is seeking comment from the LaSalle County sheriff’s office.