Rapists in uniform #3: a sixth woman comes forward

(Via Google News.)

Another woman in northern Ohio has come forward about an unnecessary and sexually humiliating strip search by the Stark County sheriff’s office. She is the sixth woman who has come forward about the Stark County sheriff’s office in the past four months. Like four other women, she came forward after learning about Hope Steffey’s gang-rape search at the hands of male and female deputies, and her lawsuit against the sheriff’s office. Elizabeth is afraid for her own safety and the safety of her family, so she has chosen not to use her last name or reveal her face in press interviews. She says that she never gave any indication of being suicidal, believes that she was stripped and left naked in her cell as retaliation for physically defending herself against a deputy who had laid his hand on her hip and made sexual jokes at her expense.

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.

— Tom Meyer, WKYC News (2008-05-02): Investigator Exclusive: Strip search case prompts 5th woman to come forward

According to the local news video about Elizabeth (trigger warning: contains video of Hope Steffey being forcibly strip searched by male officers), Elizabeth was left locked in her cell, completely naked, for eight hours.

Lawyer David Malik says we’re seeing a pattern where apparently every woman who cries or gets emotional is deemed suicidal.

— Tom Meyer, WKYC 3 News (2008-02-29/2008-03-06): Strip Search: Four more women come forward with similar stories

And remember, if you are deemed suicidal, government cops and government jailers will take it for granted that the best way for armed Trained Professionals to handle the situation is to hurt you, hold you down, strip you against your will, subject you to an invasive search, and lock you in a cage and leave you there, naked, for six or eight hours at a stretch.

There is absolutely no conceivable excuse for treating anyone this way, ever. Whether man or woman, calm or belligerent, nice or nasty, crazy or sane. This is gang rape, professionalized and excused by Official Procedures. What is becoming clear is that Sheriff Tim Swanson and his goon squad not only have convinced themselves that this kind of brutality is sometimes acceptable, but also that they have an especially broad understanding of the sort of situation that calls for it, and that they are especially willing to use it as a form of humiliating retaliation, in order to teach uppity or unruly women a lesson, under color of the law. And then, to crown all, to further insult the victim by proclaiming that they did it all For Her Own Good. The Stark County sherriff’s office are nothing more and nothing less than a pack of dangerous sexual predators, and their uniforms and badges don’t make them any better than any other gang of serial rapists.

More on the Stark County, Ohio sheriff’s department and Hope Steffey:

See also:

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6 replies to Rapists in uniform #3: a sixth woman comes forward Use a feed to Follow replies to this article · TrackBack URI

· July 2008 ·

  1. Discussed at smartlikeme.wordpress.com

    links for 2008-05-12 « don’t ya wish your girlfriend was smart like me?:

    […] Rapists in uniform #3: a sixth woman comes forward from Rad Geek People’s Daily: This is absolute and utter bullshit. (tags: sexual_violence rape misogyny sexism power police) […]

— 2009 —

  1. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2009-01-31 – Rapists in uniform #5: on invasions of privacy:

    […] GT 2008-05-10: Rapists in uniform #3: a sixth woman comes forward […]

  2. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People’s Daily 2009-03-21 – Standard Operating Procedure #2:

    […] —GT 2008-05-10: Rapists in uniform #3: A sixth woman comes forward […]

  3. John

    I was always puzzled by the news saying that there was “confusion” when the cops arrived.

    I’m thinking what “confusion”?? They have everyone there saying that Steffey was the victim, even the female cousin is saying it on video.

    Heck even the cop testifies that he went to his car to document Steffey’s injuries…and the cops are on tape talking about Steffey’s cousin getting arrested the month before for another domestic battery charge, and even her brother mentions her other assault charge when he calls 911 & the cops on his OWN SISTER! Plus Gurlea has everyone looking for Steffey’s missing hair, and Gurlea is on tape talking to Steffey as if he knows she is the victim, telling her that he will still investigate her assault even though he is arresting her. Plus he also names her as the victim in his radio traffic! So WHY are the papers saying there was “confusion”, there is none in the evidence!?!? It didn’t make any sense.

    Then Richard T. Gurlea Jr testified under oath that the investigation was never finished, because Steffey was ‘unable to contribute to the investigation’. HUH?? You mean ANY victim that is knocked unconscious or killed will never have their case solved!?!?! Because Steffey had gone back to the sheriff’s dept 4 days later to file abuse complaints & the assault. So are they trying to say she was STILL unable to “contribute to the investigation’”?? This makes no sense at all!

    Then the cops got only TWO written witness statements, despite the fact that there were several people there. Again it doesn’t make any sense.

    Then I found the last piece of the puzzle that would make sense of all this…the cops tried to FRAME Steffey for the assault that she had reported!!

    Here’s PROOF the cops were actually trying to charge the VICTIM for the crime she was reporting!!

    http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y39/Zemo999/Incident-Report-Assault.jpg

    NONE of the papers have EVER reported that Steffey was actually arrested for assault too. But this incident report clearly shows the cops were trying their best to get her charged with the assault too.

    It’s all an attempt to cover the cop’s abuse of Steffey, when witnesses said he exploded in a rage at her. They even went so far as to take ONLY TWO written witness statements, and they were from Steffey’s attacker & her brother…(who she no doubt threatened into it, since she didn’t know at that time he was the one to call the cops)…and she DID threaten the aunt that she thought had called them.

    The arresting cop, Richard T. Gurlea Jr., testified at Steffey’s trial that the ‘investigation’ into the assault was never finished.

    REALLY?!!? Then how do you explain the assault charges against Steffey in the incident report they filled out??

  4. John

    This is the BCI report that Agent Christy S. Palmer sent to John D. Ferrero, Prosecuting Attorney Stark County Ohio. Dated April 16, 2008 BCI Case #: SI-76-08-14-0147

    This is part of page 3

    http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y39/Zemo999/?action=view&current=BCI-Report.jpg

    Sheriff Swanson has ALWAYS maintained that Steffey was ASKED & REFUSED to remove her cloths. But here’s the BCI’s OWN REPORT that PROVES this is a LIE! And then they try to explain away their first lie with another lie, about why it was done this way without asking Steffey to do it voluntarily.

    They are trying to say that Steffey was resisting enough that EIGHT people (5 women, 3 men) couldn’t take the chance of ASKING her to remove her cloths, or EVEN TELL HER WHAT WAS GOING ON!!! What a crock!!

    I did NOT see any resisting in the video, I saw eight cops parading her to the cell, with her in cuffs.

    In fact EVERY video I have seen she is in cuffs! And the ONLY times I have seen her react to the cops is after they have assaulted her or in the process of stripping her naked. And all the rest of the jail videos are posted on YouTube to prove that these accusations are lies too. (Look for Zemo999’s videos)

    But apparently catching the sheriff’s dept in a lie isn’t a big deal to our “independent” BCI investigator, Christy Palmer, who seems ready to accept ANY excuse the sheriff’s dept wants to use.

    The report also goes on to say that they lowered Steffey in a slow controlled manner to the floor. Except that Steffey says she was thrown to the floor. She also told her husband in a phone call that she thought the cops had broken her nose. And she was treated by the nurse for the injury. And in page 4 of this report Christy Palmer even states that Steffey reported that her nose was making “crunching noises”.

    So I guess this is proof of a second LIE! (Or third)

    And still Christy Palmer, the “independent investigator” doesn’t think twice about accepting the word of the cops over the VICTIMS in spite of proof. BTW, Christy also references a video that she says “proves that she was lowered in a slow controlled manner to the floor”. As far as I know, THIS would have to be on the ‘non-existent’ beginning of the strip video. On May 5th when I asked about the “missing” video, I was told it would soon be released. Now here again it looks as though it’s referenced…even though they NOW claim it does not exist. Interesting. (I have filed a request for this video.)

    Its no wonder the grand jury found that the cop’s actions didn’t rise to the level of “criminal culpability”. How could they with the BCI investigator spellchecking the sheriff’s own reports and passing them on as FACT.

    This isn’t so much an investigation report as it is a smear campaign against Hope Steffey.

    The cops can polish this turd as much as want, this STILL STINKS!

    BTW I don’t know why they bothered to black out the names of Nurse Coren Lennon and the jail psychologist Thomas Anuszkiewicz, aren’t they PROUD of the work they do?

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