County Settles Lawsuits Over Strip Searches

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By Rachel Begle

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Woodbury County officials in northwest Iowa have decided to settle lawsuits filed over strip searches at the county jail.

The Sioux City Journal reports that Woodbury County Board Chairman Larry Clausen says the board settled rather than risk trial and possibly pay more to complainants and their attorneys.

Three women arrested on misdemeanor charges say they were forced to take off their clothes in view of male jailers during incidents in 2006 and 2007.

In the settlement, Maureen Rattray, of South Sioux City, Neb., was paid $335,000. Lori Mathes received $40,000 and Lisa Lambert $10,000. Dismissal papers were filed Tuesday.

In 2011 a U.S. District Court jury awarded Rattray more than $250,000, but that verdict was overturned and a retrial ordered because of inconsistencies in the verdict form.
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