Strip-Searches of Male Prisoners by Female Guards OK'd by 9th Circuit Court; Maricopa County Jail Inmate Sued

A former Maricopa County jail inmate who was stripped to his underwear and felt up by a female guard-in-training during a search did not have his rights violated, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.

Charles Byrd, who was convicted of trafficking in stolen goods, was in the Durango Jail in 2004 when a mass search of inmates was conducted. According to the San Francisco Chronicle:

A female cadet from a training academy pulled out his waistband, patted down his groin through the shorts and felt his buttocks to check for contraband, the court said. The woman said the search had lasted no more than 20 seconds, while Byrd estimated one minute.

An online article in AmLaw Daily says Byrd had been a victim of sexual abuse in his childhood. Jarrett Green, a lawyer with the firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom took the case pro bono.

Green says he may ask for a rehearing in the case.

Byrd is scheduled to be released from prison on October 30, according to Department of Corrections records.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.