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Illinois Woman Wins Suit Over Illegal Strip Search

On June 8, 2012, a federal jury found that an Illinois woman had been strip searched by Edgar County Jail staff without probable cause.

According to court documents, Angelina Cianfaglione was in her vehicle with her minor son at a McDonald's restaurant in Paris, Illinois when a drug detection dog alerted on the vehicle. Edgar County Sheriff's Deputies Terry Rogers and Dee Burgin then searcher her vehicle without a warrant without finding any contraband. They then arrested Cianfaglione without a warrant and transported her to the Edgar County Jail where she was strip searched and held for over two hours without being charged with a crime or given an opportunity to place a phone call, contact an attorney or post bond. The strip search included Deputy Sheriff Beverly Weger touching her on the buttocks and legs near the vagina, requiring her to squat and cough and inspecting the interior of her anus and vagina with a flashlight. During the strip search, she was held naked in a cell containing a video camera for fifteen minutes. Finally, she was allowed to post a $400.00 bond and was released.

Cianfaglione filed a civil rights suit in federal court pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988, alleging violation of her Fourth Amendment rights to be free of unreasonable search and seizure.

The jury found that the dog had alerted on the vehicle while she was in it and that Burgin and Rogers had ordered her to be strip searched without a reasonable suspicion to do so. It also found that Weger had conducted a strip search. Cianfaglione was represented by St. Joseph, Illinois attorney Jude Marie Redwood. See: Cianfaglione v. Rogers, U.S.D.C.-C.D.I11., Case No. 10-2170.

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Related legal case

Cianfaglione v. Rogers