The Ohio Attorney General has opened an investigation into the forcible strip searching of a Stark County woman, Hope Steffey, by a mixed gender team of County Sheriffs deputies. Video has commentary from Cuyahoga County Sheriff where he states that if this had happened in his department, the deputies would have been fired…

Watch the most recent news update at: http://www.wkyc.com/video/player.aspx?sid=82866&aid=54225

2/27/08 I called the AG’s office in Columbus:No details released to the public, but confirmation that an investigation is on-going.


  1. The only just solution to this sordid episode of immorality and egregious misconduct on the part of these deputies is that these deputies be sentenced to prison time commensurate with the crime of sexual assault, battery, and conspiracy to withhold evidence (the missing tapes). The sheriff is also an accomplice to the above-mentioned crimes.

    Comment by prelate — February 22, 2008 @ 2:31 am

  2. Ok heres an update. As of 04-14-2008 the sheriff’s dept has still NOT turned over all the video to Steffy’s lawyers or to the news.
    One can only suspect that if this video was this bad the rest would certainly put them in jail for a long time.

    The building video CLEARLY shows her being taped, while what looks to be the whole night shift, (4 men & 4 women) parade her down the hall. I guess the Sheriff’s web page that calls this a ‘unpleasant’ duty for his officers, doesn’t realize they have made a spectator sport out of it.
    [link to http://www.youtube.com]

    Also for anyone wondering, I have personally seen Hope Steffy’s arrest record. Besides this incident, she had NO record, not even a speeding ticket.

    As outraged as I was about this incident, I was even more appalled when I started searching the internet and found case after case of the same type of abuses, and I found out that the Bill of Rights & 4th Amendment are no protection at all apparently from attacks like this by police.

    Police need a warrant to search your house, but it seems the “law” doesn’t apply to the person themselves. And the interpretation and application of a “strip search” varies wildly from city to city, county to county and state to state.
    Most of the time, it is said only to be allowed if the officer suspects you to have a weapon or drugs. But in practice this isn’t always the case. And in instances of abuse, it’s almost never the case.

    Basically it comes down to this, the police can FORCE a strip search on you at any time or place. Even in a public place in view of bystanders or your neighbors. Let alone at the station with a trumped up disorderly conduct charge or something similar.

    Your only recourse is to report the incident or take it to court in a lawsuit. The internal investigations are notorious for siding with their officers, even when wrong. Although it seems quoting that it is within ‘standards’ is supposed to excuse the police. I suppose to do otherwise would be to invite a lawsuit. And once a victim has gone through the process, what good is the police coming back and admitting they were wrong, or winning a lawsuit, the damage is already done. Innocent people are scarred for life.

    And there have been many lawsuits for these actions, the surprising thing is nothing has been done to cure the problem and restore protections of the 4th amendment.
    I believe if police need a warrant for a residence, then they absolutely should need a warrant to strip search a person.

    As for the Stark County ‘protocols’, in Steffy’s case, the POLICE are not supposed to be able to ‘punish’ you for a ‘crime’ they THINK you might commit!!!
    And with this suicide ‘watch’ that’s exactly what they are doing!

    The excuse that it is for a persons own good is BS. And not part of their function.

    If they REALLY think someone is suicidal, then they need to be transferred to a medical facility that is equipped to give a REAL diagnosis and handle patients like that. Plus they would have all the medication & equipment for people that may REALLY be suicidal.


    To NOT get them to a mental health facility is as much denying them medical help, as if they were hurt & bleeding and they didn’t take them to a hospital!!

    This whole thing needs to be changed or taxpayers will be paying lawsuit after lawsuit. It’s OUTRAGEOUS!

    And some police would have you believe that a strip search is needed to search for ‘weapons or drugs’. With a pat down and all the metal detectors & wands we have, I don’t see the weapons search excuse as valid either.

    Most court houses have detectors at the entrance to scan for weapons, either they are effective and stop the weapons, or they aren’t effective and they are a waste of money. You can’t have it both ways.

    And if we are depending on winning the “War on Drugs”, by pulling down the underpants of women & children, then we are in big trouble.

    Police have abused this power for too long, taxpayers have paid lawsuits for this outrageous behavior for too long and we need a FEDERAL LAW to stop the practice.

    Comment by john454 — April 24, 2008 @ 12:32 am

  3. Just the stuff we know FOR SURE is enough to get these sadists jail time.

    You don’t leave a victim without medical care.

    You don’t have males on females, let alone EIGHT people to strip a handcuffed woman.

    You don’t leave them naked, without at least a paper covering.

    You don’t take them to be booked naked.

    This has nothing to do with them thinking she was suicidal, it was almost CERTAINLY done to humiliate, embarrass, degrade and punish Hope Steffy.

    And then there is all the disputed stuff that we have.

    That she was attacked by the deputy without just cause, and then charged to cover up his abuse.

    That he pulled on her arm to get her ‘to react’ and then made it seem as if she was resisting.

    Deputy and jailers claim that she was in mood swings, verbally & physically abusive, but NO VIDEO shows this. (On the other hand the video DOES back up everything Steffy has said, so far.)

    That the deputy left her in the car, while he talked to someone at the jail. (This alone raises a red flag for me!!)

    That she was told she could go home after questions.

    That she was NEVER asked to remove her cloths.

    That the officers attacked her without warning.

    That her tooth & back were injured in the multiple attacks by police.

    And then we have all the ‘missing’ video for icing on the cake……as of May 6th the Sheriff has still NOT released ALL the Steffy video/audio.

    Comment by john454 — May 15, 2008 @ 4:41 am

  4. When the slogan “protect and serve” is abused to the forced pleasure of the male officers that help in her forced search of her just to look at a nude female is a sick and sad. She was a victim wanting help, and all she got was more abuse for our city’s defenders of our rights.

    Comment by Kenneth Lawson — December 13, 2008 @ 2:26 pm

  5. From the police abuse I have personally witnessed in the USA, this is not surprising. Police are above the law, and we allow it to happen.

    What’s sad is that if the cops are fired, they simply go to the next district and get rehired. I think we need to have some filtering and strict certification for police, including psychological profile and brain scans; We should pass bills that would create a copwatch blacklist, and if they get on a blacklist, they shouldn’t be able to get a job anywhere in US for any federal/state law enforcement. We should start something on state level, then see if we can get it on federal level. Another thing we can do, is make crimes committed by those trusted to uphold the law more severe than non-citizens. There should be a state internal investigation, that sits outside of any district, and also investigates judicial and prosecution, to see if there is any collusion (by how they all cooperate with each other in the goody-good-boys network). This would have to go to state govt. and organized by all of us. Hopefully this horrid story can motivate people to realize there is something systemically wrong with law enforcement in this nation.

    Where I lived in San Jose, CA area, police that cost the state $14 million for wrongful death, would go get a job in another county, then cost them money in lawsuits, then go get another job elsewhere.

    I also seen cops threaten witnesses or coerce victims not to file reports under threat of arrest, probably because they don’t want to do paper work.

    – Joaquin

    Comment by Joaquin Menchaca — December 17, 2008 @ 5:08 pm

  6. Plus it’s freezing in those cells.

    Comment by Andrew — January 6, 2010 @ 11:02 pm

  7. Well I have found out a LOT about this case over the past couple years.

    The cops tried to FRAME Hope Steffey for the assault she had reported!!
    The cops have been caught in LIE after LIE in this case.

    The coverup has been broad and thorough by the sheriff’s dept, the state BCI investigator’s, and even the FBI.
    Even the news sources have helped in covering this police abuse up. Printing lies that they KNEW to be lies.

    Its really unbelievable the extent that everyone has gone through to cover this up.

    Comment by John454 — May 12, 2010 @ 2:10 pm

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