Class-Action Suit Claims More LaSalle County Jail Abuse

View Comments (


    A 33-year-old woman is suing LaSalle County after jail cameras reportedly captured four deputies forcibly stripping her and leaving her in a cell without her clothes when she was arrested for drunken driving.

    The lawyer for a woman who claims she underwent an illegal strip search while under arrest in LaSalle County reportedly filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of four more people who say they experienced similar abuse at the jail.

    The suit against LaSalle County, Sheriff Thomas Templeton and unknown sheriff’s officers claims three woman and one man were either forcibly stripped or made to take their clothes off and then made to stay in cells without bathrooms for several hours, according to a report from the Chicago Tribune. The suit claims they had to urinate and defecate in a drain on the floor of the cell, and in some cases, were not given toilet paper.

    Just over a month ago, a similar suit was filed on behalf of Dana Holmes of Coal City, who alleged three men and a woman pulled her to the ground earlier this year, carried her into a cell, stripped her naked and walked out with her clothes. Holmes was under arrest for DUI at the time.

    Footage from the jail shows deputies fingerprinting and photographing Holmes more than an hour after the strip search, covering her in only a blanket.

    Special Prosecutor Ordered in Jail Strip Investigation

    [CHI] Special Prosecutor Ordered in Jail Strip Investigation
    A judge orders a special prosecutor to look into allegations that LaSalle County deputies stripped a woman without good reason. Chris Coffey reports.

    Under Illinois law, a strip-search is permitted only when officers have a “reasonable belief” that the subject is hiding a weapon or a controlled substance on their body and requires the search be conducted by an officer of the same sex.

    Attorney Terry Ekl, who is representing Holmes and the new plaintiffs in the new suit, told the Tribune he doesn’t think they have “anywhere near all of the people that this happened to.”