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Teen sues former Box Elder County deputy, alleging illegal strip search

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SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake County teenager filed a lawsuit against a former Box Elder County sheriff's deputy Tuesday, claiming she and two other girls were forced to stand barefoot in the snow and show their breasts during a November 2010 traffic stop.

Tamsen Reid, who has since turned 18, was one of three passengers in a vehicle that was allegedly pulled over by Scott Womack for speeding, according to the complaint filed in federal court Tuesday.

Reid was singled out of the group because of an alleged outstanding drug warrant Womack said he found, previously reported by Arizona police. She was told she could go to jail or "get in his car and be searched for certain tattoos and piercings," according to court documents.

(The alleged victim) was told she could go to jail or "get in his car and be searched for certain tattoos and piercings," according to court documents.

Reid reportedly removed her slippers, shorts, underwear and shirt at the command of the uniformed officer.

When she refused to spread her legs for him, Womack is said to have issued the male driver a warning for speeding and let him, Reid and the other passengers go. An official copy of the citation was never filed with the sheriff's office.

The experience, as stated in the suit, caused Reid "to suffer extreme shock, severe emotional distress, humiliation, embarrassment, and instilled in her a significant and continuing fear of law enforcement officers."

Reid checked up on the aforementioned Arizona warrant and found it was nonexistent and later filed a citizen's complaint with Box Elder County authorities. She claims Womack used his position of authority to conduct an illegal strip search on her without a warrant, calling it a "flagrant violation of her constitutional rights."

The suit also claims that Womack had multiple similar complaints against him but was still allowed to continue in his duty, "putting citizens like Ms. Reid at great risk."

Reid is seeking financial compensation for the alleged ordeal and will conduct a public press conference Wednesday morning.

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Wendy Leonard


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