Hope Steffey Update: 5th Woman Comes Forward With Abuse Charges

by matttbastard

WKYC reports that a 5th woman has come forward with allegations that Stark County law enforcement officials forced her to strip unlawfully:

“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.

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.

[…]

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.

Related: Text of Hope Steffey’s suit against Stark County sheriff Tim Swanson (PDF, h/t john454)

Background: more on the Hope Steffy incident here, here and here.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

20 thoughts on “Hope Steffey Update: 5th Woman Comes Forward With Abuse Charges

  1. Can someone please post the names of these officers for the public?

    Maybe warning flyers can be posted about these policemen?

    Maybe something else can be done…

    Like

  2. The idiot deputies are trying to sue the local TV station:

    CANTON —

    Stark County sheriff’s deputies who were vilified after a Cleveland television station aired video of them stripping a woman at the Stark County Jail have filed a lawsuit saying they are victims of one-sided reporting.

    Last year, WKYC Channel 3 began airing reports on a lawsuit filed by a Salem woman who says she was strip-searched at the jail in October 2006. The reports included video of sheriff’s deputies and corrections officers pinning Hope Steffey to the floor of a jail cell and removing her clothes.

    This week, those deputies — Kristin Fenstemaker, Laura Rodgers, Tony Gayles, Richard T. Gurlea Jr., Andrea Mays and Brian Michaels — sued reporter Tom Meyer, WKYC and its parent company, alleging defamation and invasion of privacy.

    http://www.cantonrep.com/archive/x309570834/Deputies-sue-TV-station-over-reports-about-woman-stripped-naked

    Are they also going to sue all the national stations that ran this story?? Because they looked bad in those stories too.

    Thats what these thugs don’t get, it wasn’t the STORY that made people hate them, it was THEIR OWN ACTIONS!!

    Like

  3. What can we do…??

    Give these people a call and just ask what has to be done to stop the Stark County Sheriff from having men strip women naked and leave them for hours at the jail.

    Lawsuit after lawsuit and these thugs STILL don’t deny that this is still going on. Just how many lawsuits do citizens have to pay for before something is done?

    Come ON people take a few min to call, and just ASK.

    We need to keep up the pressure until this crap is stopped.

    State of Ohio
    Office of the Attorney General

    http://www.ag.state.oh.us/contact/index.asp

    Ohio Governor Strickland

    http://www.governor.ohio.gov/Contact/tabid/153/Default.aspx

    Like

  4. I have the whole article saved, but heres their names:

    Deputies sue TV station over reports about woman stripped naked
    CantonRep.com staff report
    Posted Jan 30, 2009 @ 07:12 PM
    CANTON —
    Stark County sheriff’s deputies who were vilified after a Cleveland television station aired video of them stripping a woman at the Stark County Jail have filed a lawsuit saying they are victims of one-sided reporting.

    Last year, WKYC Channel 3 began airing reports on a lawsuit filed by a Salem woman who says she was strip-searched at the jail in October 2006. The reports included video of sheriff’s deputies and corrections officers pinning Hope Steffey to the floor of a jail cell and removing her clothes.

    This week, those deputies — Kristin Fenstemaker, Laura Rodgers, Tony Gayles, Richard T. Gurlea Jr., Andrea Mays and Brian Michaels — sued reporter Tom Meyer, WKYC and its parent company, alleging defamation and invasion of privacy.
    UNQUOTE

    The cops are alleging “invasion of privacy”?!?!

    Now THAT takes guts!

    Like

  5. Officials at Stark County & the State saying they could see nothing wrong with this video. And a few people on other sites have agreed with them!
    BUT just so we’re all on the same page, lets review the video….
    First of all, this video STARTS after Steffy is already forced down on the bunk. The camera operator tells investigators she doesn’t know WHY the whole recording isn’t there. And the piece that is “missing” is exactly when Steffy claimed she was never asked to remove her cloths & was assaulted by the staff. No problems with the ‘magic’ camera…RIGHT?
    Plus what Swanson & the officials are saying is that not only is it ok for 8 people, men & women to be present, the men are also allowed to remove a woman’s cloths. EVEN if there are enough women there to do it.
    And if a woman ‘reacts’ to being stripped by men & women, with spectators also standing there, while being videoed, the men are not ONLY allowed to RESTRAIN her, they are also allowed to pull her arms in submission holds, while yelling for her to “STOP IT”.
    And then AFTER she is already stripped naked, its STILL ok for the men to put her in an arm bar submission hold, if she starts screaming while they force her crossed legs against her butt, while waiting to “change a mat”. And also telling her to “stop resisting”.
    And its also ok for the camera, which is supposed to be on the prisoner at ALL times, to deliberately swing away so you can’t tell what they are doing to her. No problem here too RIGHT?
    ===== Yeah, just having a couple men TWICE her size, and a couple women, JUST restraining her isn’t enough, if she doesn’t cooperate, they can also TORTURE her into SUBMISSION. =====
    And then once they leave, these “professionals” can have a good laugh…I guess they didn’t realize the camera was STILL running.
    THIS is what ALL the Swanson supporters are good with…RIGHT?
    Because Swanson and the “investigators” are OK with it.

    Like

  6. Heres a letter I sent the sheriff’s office. The only response I got was that the mentioned webpage was removed and is now only a blank.

    QUOTE “I have read about your troubles with lawsuits for your suicide preventions, THEN I go to your web page and find this!

    The last successful hanging in the Stark County Jail was in 2005. This inmate had visited the Stark County Jail 26 times prior and never exhibited any suicidal tendencies. This time he too was placed on suicide precautions and was still able to take his own life.

    So your saying, that your suicide polices are not only getting you sued, but they are resulting in the deaths of inmates?!?!?!?

    A prisoner had been there TWENTY SIX times and NEVER exhibited ANY suicidal tendencies….UNTIL he too was placed on suicide watch!!
    OMG!

    How many of the others that tried to kill themselves were treated the same way?
    Take a depressed person and abuse them in this manner and then wonder WHY they try to kill themselves…..AMAZING!
    UNQUOTE

    Like

  7. 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

    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!

    But apparently catching the sheriff’s dept in a lie isn’t a big deal to our “independent” BCI investigator, Christy Palmer, who is 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!

    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.)

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

    They are trying to say that Steffey was resisting enough that EIGHT people couldn’t take the chance of ASKING her to remove her cloths, or EVEN TELL HER WHAT WAS GOING ON!!!

    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.

    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?

    Like

  8. Links to Steffey Torture

    Even blurred out you can still see the cop putting a submission hold on Steffey. Even ultimate fighters give up quickly when they are pinned in a submission hold, but then his opponent lets him go, unlike the cops that have Hope Steffey.
    Yeah a guy twice Steffey’s size can’t JUST restrain her, he has his arm jammed up under her arm, while she’s in cuffs torturing her into submission.
    Even after they remove the cuffs, the guy TWICE her size has her arm twisted up behind her. Not satisfied with JUST restraining her, he tortures her into submission.
    EIGHT people there and they still resort to this BS! I just have to wonder where their SWAT team is!??!

    EDIT Well can’t post any links here, so it looks like a waste of time…..

    Like

  9. UPDATE:

    Ok heres a video you won’t see on the news.

    Heres the cops taking Steffey to the cell to strip her naked.

    The quality of the video is pretty bad. It will seem to ‘skip’ frames for quite a while in some places, but then take a bunch in a row at other times. Why it does this, I don’t know.
    All the cameras at the sheriff’s dept seem to be in bad shape and “malfunction” right at critical moments.

    I had to cut this video in half, it was 20 minutes long, from the time they took her in to the time they left the hall in front of her cell. So I cut off the front of it when they took her in.
    Heres a link to the whole thing that should be good for a while:
    [video src="http://rapidshare.com/files/232400098/Production_Done.wmv" /]

    WHY does it take 20 minutes outside the hall to show a “suicide prevention” that only took 4 min?

    The building camera, seems to skip a lot of frames, so you’d think it would be a shorter video.

    But as you can see after they have closed up the cell after assaulting her, they all stand around and have a good laugh, so this will add some more time to the video.

    As you can see from the video the big dufass in the white shirt, he stays at the door to the cell looking in all the time Steffey was being assaulted, and then he stays back around her cell afterwards, looking in….GEE, I wonder WHY?
    Then afterwards he’s joined by another officer who didn’t get a chance to help strip Steffey and he starts walking down to have a look too.

    WHY DON’T THEY JUST SELL TICKETS?!?!?!?

    BUT THEN the camera seems to malfunction, and the next thing you see is a empty hall.
    WOW, …..MORE “missing” video from Stark County Sheriff’s Dept.

    Like

  10. Hi – I just wanted to say that I recently heard about the Hope Steffey incident, and I feel sick. I watched part of the video (I couldn’t finish the whole thing), and I pray that she is doing well.

    What happened to her is nothing short of sexual assault – not even to mention the abuse she endured at the hands of the moron who arrested her and the aftermath of the unwarranted strip search.

    I’m doing some research on police brutality, but this is so much more than just that. It is a blatant disregard for the law and a case of everyone involved obviously ignoring the evidence.

    I will definitely contact the OH Attorney General & Governor. Is there any website that I can also follow up on? What else is going to be done about this? Justice needs to be served – for Ms. Steffey and for the safety of the rest of Stark County.

    Police brutality will no longer be tolerated!

    Like

  11. Heres a board that I have posted regularly on about this case.

    http://boards.insessiontrials.com/showthread.php?p=13283364#post13283364

    On my last call to the Atty Generals office they said they are looking into this case again. Can’t say if thats really true or if it will come to anything if they are.

    Also the local FBI is also investigating, but they have given the sheriff ‘awards’ in the past, so I’m thinking there is some leverage there, and that nothing will come of their investigation either.

    I tried to tell the FBI that the sheriff’s office had conspired to keep information from the BCI & Grand Jury, but they weren’t interested.

    So apparently they aren’t looking for the TRUTH in this case either.

    Like

  12. And the cops wonder why people refuse to cooperate. This is not limited to Stark County Ohio, folks. The police are NOT your friends. The police are NOT there to help you, the police are there to control your behavior. Make no bones about it! My friend died in custody when a choke hold was applied because he “resisted” while wearing handcuffs.
    My suggestion… never cooperate with cops, always have a lawyer, always remain silent except to ask for a lawyer… and carry a video camera of your own. Oh yeah, and NEVER let them into your home, ever, for any reason!!!

    Like

  13. As some of you know I have been looking into the Hope Steffey Case for over a year.
    I have posted links to prove that the Stark County police lied about this case, using their own reports.
    I know you have seen some of this before, but the part I don’t get is WHY all the rest of the people that “investigated” this helped to cover this up this obvious case of abuse by the police.

    A news paper the CantonRep deliberately wrote up a misleading article about this. They put stuff in the article that they KNEW were lies.
    As an example they put in their ‘Award winning’ story ‘What Happened To Hope Steffey’ that Swanson had claimed that Steffey had been given a chance to remove her clothes and had refused.
    This statement is TRUE, this IS what the sheriff claimed.
    BUT the BCI investigation was VERY clear that she had NOT been given a chance to remove her clothes, and the CantonRep KNEW this. And I know they knew this because the author is the one that pointed me to the information!! And they acknowledged the source in the article.
    Here’s a link to the BCI report:

    (This report also claims how Steffey resisted the police, which is another lie, disproved by many videos. Here’s a link to the first in a series that show the cops lied:

    Look at the rest of the videos in the series for proof.)

    So the paper printed a LIE from the sheriff that they KNEW was a lie….WHY!??!?
    That’s what gets me, does the sheriff and his gang have that much influence?

    Also the BCI investigation was a joke, so information they gave to the grand jury would have been the same.
    It wasn’t so much an investigation, as it was a smear campaign against Hope Steffey.
    But WHY did the BCI also cover for these criminals?

    And it looks as though the FBI “investigation” is going the same way.
    But WHY?!?!?
    Isn’t there anyone out there that is above being corrupted?

    A couple of other things NEVER reported in the news is that Steffey’s assailant was arrested the month before, for another assault. And the cops knew this, because they are on tape discussing it.
    And another thing never reported in ANY news source is that Steffey was not just arrested for disorderly conduct & resisting, but also for the assault that she had reported!!
    But yet Richard T. Gurlea Jr., testified at Steffey’s trial, under oath, that the ‘investigation’ into the assault was never finished.
    REALLY?!!? Then how do you explain the assault charges against Steffey???

    BTW his excuse for not finishing the investigation was that Steffey was in no shape to help with the investigation. So I guess any crime victims that are unconscious or dead have NO chance of having their cases investigated by the Stark County Sheriff’s Dept. (All their excuses are just as lame as this one, or even worse.)

    But the point is WHY was there no news source that made any of this public??
    Even the original TV WKYC report never even made mention of this.
    How can you skip over info that shows the cops were trying to frame the crime victim?!?!?

    Makes me question every newspaper article….how many others leave out facts that they KNOW are out there, and would change the whole look of the case, but are never made public??
    And HOW did we ever get to this point, that this could happen in our country?

    Like

  14. RL Winters is right, this is NOT limited to Stark County, as a matter of fact this seems to be a problem around ALL big city police Depts.

    Unless there is a big city that I missed that doesn’t have this problem.

    A professor examined the Chicago police and found that 5% of the officers were most of the problem.
    The only trouble was, there was no way to remove or even discipline that 5%.

    So they have a small percentage of the force not only making the rest of the Chicago police look bad, but reflecting on police everywhere when their abuses hit national news.

    Like

  15. So just what DID come about of the Seffey incident? I had just found out about it today. And it makes me sick and disgusted. I, personally would have made out flyers with the pictures of the deputies on it and had RAPIST right underneath it along with the real story. I’m of the mind for the truth. And I have no problems going out and allerting the people about these monsters. I feel really bad for Hope. I heard that she settled though… :( I hope not

    Like

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