Hope Steffey Settles With County

You may remember the disgusting videos of a young woman, strip searched by Stark County, Ohio police, and left naked in a cell, all under the watchful eye of male police officers.  If you don’t remember, please go back and take a look.  It’s a video you won’t soon forget, particularly if you have a mother, wife or daughter.

Via Carlos Miller, some good news.

U.S. District Court Judge David Dowd said in a court order that the plaintiffs, including Sheriff Tim Swanson and the Stark County Board of Commissioners, “have entered into a resolution of the plaintiffs’ case against those defendants, reserving only a determination by the Court as to the amount of attorney fees and costs.”

The amount of the settlement, however, is undisclosed, a rather strange thing given that it would appear that the cost of the police abuse of Hope Steffey (which had earlier been spelled “Steffi” based on news reports, but is different in this report) will be born by the taxpayers.  Don’t they have a right to know just how much their police have cost them?  Since when does government impropriety get to be swept under the rug so that the citizens, for whom the cops exists, are left to wonder?

When asked if the settlement is an admission of guilt, Sheriff Swanson told The Investigator Tom Meyer, “No reaction, Tom” and he hung up.

Other county officials had no reaction either.

Of course, it’s great to hear that Hope Steffey received a settlement for the harm done in this egregious case, though disappointing that the local sheriff would still hide from what happened.   I can’t blame her attorneys for settling, as their duty is to Hope, not us.  But it’s a shame that the full panoply of what went horribly wrong here won’t be aired publicly as a message to police everywhere.  And it’s a shame that the individual cops involved won’t have to pay personally for what they did to this young woman.

It’s not everything one could want in a settlement, but it’s better than nothing.  Better this than giving these sick, disgraceful cops medals.

121 thoughts on “Hope Steffey Settles With County

  1. Joel Rosenberg

    Well, yeah; I don’t blame her, or her lawyer. But without a full, public airing of this, the chances that it will have any significant influence on Bad Cop Stuff are, at best, negligible.

    What I find interesting, though, is that the perps’ spokesmen didn’t come up with the usual, “We’re not admitting wrongdoing, but merely settled to avoid costly and lengthy litigation.” Any guess as to why the usual forms weren’t followed?

  2. Windypundit

    Yeah, I think lots of cops get the wrong message from settlemenets like this. The guy who writes the Second City Cop blog is always complaining that the City of Chicago makes the police look bad by settling too easy.

  3. Gary

    I have thought long and hard about this terrible abuse to a woman, by government employees, since I first saw the video over a year ago. I am a 62 year old law abiding, well educated professional, with decades of court support experience, and a completely clean record. The only conclusion I can come up with, if, God forbid, anyone did this to my wife or daughter; is to kill them. Plain and simple. There are some injustices that are so egregious; there is no choice but to act, even if you must potentially sacrifice your life. Excuses and inaction are cowardice. Law suits are useless as a punishment or a deterrent. If a government employee knew he faced severe and certain retribution from an enraged husband or father, these incidences would most assuredly cease.

  4. John

    Joel the usual forms probably weren’t followed, because they would be yet another lie.

    I have caught these people in a LOT of them, using their own reports & information.

    And I have been trying as hard as I can to have a “public airing” of this.

    One paper writing about this story has DELIBERATELY written the story’s leaving out stuff, or making it imply something that they KNOW is BS.

    Heres an example from the CantonRep’s “Award Winning Story”, What Happened To Hope Steffey.

    QUOTE “Most willingly take off their clothes, Swanson said.”
    QUOTE “Deputies said Steffey was told she would have to give up her clothes and was given the opportunity to remove them voluntarily.”

    It may be true that Swanson said that, but the paper KNEW that Steffey was NEVER given a chance to remove her own clothes. They had this report from the BCI that CLEARLY states this:


    So the deputies statement is an outright lie, and the paper KNOWS it.

    And there is more, LOTS more, just like this.

    I had also called the sheriff’s dept, they are screening ALL their calls. You can’t even get a hold of the sheriff’s secretary.

    The county prosecutor’s office won’t discuss anything. They won’t even discuss WHY they won’t discuss the case or settlement.

    This whole mess stinks!

  5. John

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

    Here’s the cops taking Steffey to the cell to strip her naked. This shows what was going on outside in the hallway.

    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.

    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 IMMEDIATLY open her cell again, and some of them enter it.
    The rest all stand around and seem to have a good laugh, so this will add some more time to the video.

    As you can see from the video the big guy 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.


    BUT THEN the camera seems to malfunction, and the next thing you see is a empty hall. BUT only ONE second has passed on the time marks!
    WOW, …..MORE “missing” video from Stark County Sheriff’s Dept.

  6. John


    Heres PROOF the cops were actually trying to charge the VICTIM for the crime she was reporting!!


    NONE of the papers have EVER reported that Steffey was actually arrested for assault too.

    Leanne Preston is listed as the VICTIM! This is the niece that Steffey claimed attacked her. (her injuries are listed as a broken fingernail)

    Scott Preston is the Uncle of Leanne, the woman that allegedly attacked Steffey. They are listing him as a witness against Steffey.

    HOW they are listing him as reporting the assault is beyond me. At the trial he testified that he wasn’t even there most of the time.

    I can see why they never tried to convict her of the assault too.
    Since Scott is not the one that called 911.
    Leanne’s brother is the one that actually reported the assault, and called police ON HIS OWN SISTER, at Steffey’s request. (BTW he never showed up at the trial to testify.)

    The arresting cop, Richard T. Gurlea Jr., testified at Steffey’s trial that the ‘investigation’ into the assault was never finished. (REALLY?!!?)

    We have Steffey’s cousin, on tape, telling Steffey that the officer has to KNOW that none of this was her fault, while the officer is within listening distance.

    Even the officer testified at court that he went to his cruiser to get a camera to document Steffey’s injuries, so what happened?

    And he is recorded on TAPE telling Steffey that he will still ‘investigate’ her assault even as he has her in his car, so what happened?

    This report SHOWS what happened, the cops KNEW that it was ALL BS!!

    Since they are all trying to frame the VICTIM of the assault!

  7. Robert

    I’d have shot the arresting cop. Not hard to do. A annon 911 calls until the right pig showed up.

  8. John

    Makes Chicago cops look bad?!? There is 5% of the cops that make the rest look bad.

    The city pays out $6million for two cases, and then when the city council members want the police records to find out who the problem makers are the poster boy for political corruption, Mayor Daley tells them they are “not supporting” their police.

    And even after the court orders the police chief to turn over the records, Jody does not, until he is held in contempt for a few days.

    Yeah, theres a mayor, police chief, and police force to be proud of.
    Their actions bring shame on everyone!

  9. anonymous

    I don’t understand how this kind of blatant disregard for fellow humanity is swept under the rug. Those pig cops should be sent to jail.

  10. froggy

    The internet is a great place for educated people. When they feel aggrieved, they have the means and education to air it.

    Unfortunately, when you get arrested, you get searched. Anyone who has spent even a few minutes jail time, knows that they find holes you that you didn’t know you had, to look in. And they take your clothes off so you don’t hang yourself with your bra. THEY take them, they don’t allow you to put your own handcuffs on, or search yourself, or take your own clothes off, that’s laughable. Its just what happens when you get arrested.

    Steffey fought with her niece. She got arrested. When she was arrested, she fought with the cops. So she got taken in. She got searched. Happens every day to disadvantaged black males, but I guess thats ok, since they don’t have internets skillz to cry about it. Yes searches look ugly and horrible and it even looks like the cops may have gawked. Young blondes are better to look at naked then meth heads, winos and bikers who usually are in their jails.

    If you don’t fight with your niece, and you dont fight back with the cops, they’ll have no reason to arrest you or search you or laugh at you acting like a trailer park bimbo.


    If you DO the above, expect:
    -to have the cops physically overpower you if you resist.
    -to pat you and all your hiding places for weapons
    -to put handcuffs on you.
    -to lock you in the back of the police car.
    -to overcome your struggling with whatever force it takes to get you in and out of the car and into the jail
    -to take up to 6 hours to process you there is so much paperwork
    -to strip you, put on rubber gloves and check your orifices for weapons and drugs because that is where people hide them.
    -to hold you down to do it. (you think people willingly spread their cheeks for this? of course they fight, and of course you get held down)
    -to lock you up.
    -to shake their heads at your behavior because they know, even if you don’t, that you got yourself into this by your own actions.

    -After you are released you have the right to get the best attorney you can afford who will do everything they can to get you off the hook. Or sue.
    -But even suing and winning a lawsuit dooesn’t mean you didn’t act like a Jerry Springer contestant to cause everything.

    Steffey, I hope, grew up from her experiences, and knows now what other people know…that if you hit someone–whether its your niece or the cops– you are going to have consequences.

    Some of those consequences are everyone seeing you be an idiot and watching you act like a trailer park ho’ all over the internets.

    If it were me,, I wouldn’t dare show my butt all over the internets. But then again, I wouldn’t ever be in this position, as I use my words, not my fists.

  11. anonymous

    That’s retarded. The cops do NOT always strip-search you. That is a ridiculous over-exaggeration.

    You are obviously someone (i.e. a cop) involved in this situation against her. No other idiot on earth would say that crap.

  12. John

    Well foggy if you had even taken the time to watch all the videos on YouTube you’d know more than you do about this case.

    In the first place you’d know that Steffey was the VICTIM that had the police called.
    And you’d know that the niece was arrested for assault the month before, and the cops KNEW it! (They are on tape discussing it.)

    You claim SHE fought with the cops, so wheres the dashboard video of it? (Richard T. Gurlea Jr testified at court he “didn’t feel the need” to turn on his taxpayer supplied video equipment, even though he had a remote & body mic)

    And you’d know Steffey was already patted down when she came into the station. The video shows she was not fighting AT ALL. And that she was ALWAYS in cuffs.

    You’d also know that the cops claim this was NOT A STRIP SEARCH, but a “suicide precaution”. Although with all the “missing” video & the camera deliberately swinging away during the “mat change”, who knows what this really was.

    Anyway you should look into this case & check your information more so the next time you post you don’t look so foolish.

  13. mcsam

    You can never justify the sexual assault and torture of another human being unless you are a sexual sadist yourself. You can keep attacking Mrs. Steffey by refering to her as a “trailor park ho”, but in truth she is the heroic person in this story. Mrs. Steffey had the courage to expose these sexually sadistic deputies at the Stark County Jail. Froggy, I suppose your hero will always be former New York police officer Justin Volpe. I am sure he is the only animal in this universe that would want to see your naked butt on the internet.

  14. John

    QUOTE “Hope Steffey (which had earlier been spelled “Steffi” based on news reports”

    When this first happened I had thought her name was spelled Steffy, and that the news had spelled it wrong.

    I later found out that it was spelled Steffey, but the reason I had thought it was wrong is that the Sheriff has it spelled wrong, the police reports had it spelled wrong, and the court records had it spelled wrong.

    Apparently Stark County police didn’t get that part right either.
    And your right mcsam Hope has done a great service to everyone in Stark County, and at a great cost to herself.

    Its too bad everyone doesn’t appreciate what she has done.

  15. froggy

    I think that’s your spin on the facts present:
    the niece had the only injury from the fight (therefore, while Steffey can claim she was the victim, she wasn’t the ‘only’ victim and not ‘only’ a victim. The niece’s injuries make steffey an assailant.)
    Ok suicide prevention; they still take all your clothes for that, and they get to forcibly do it. black man or white woman, they can’t just do it to black men going to jail. That would be racism. They have to do it for everyone.

    I (retired housewife) still don’t see anything but the bottom line– that her own actions put her in this situation. NONE of it would have happened if she had not fought with her niece, or fought with the cops (resisting arrest). I just tell my grandson the same thing that hopefully she has learned here. BEHAVE.

    Your version of foolish is just my old-lady version of common sense. Behave yourself. I stand by my opinion based upon, not the media propensity for sensationalism, but what Steffey did or didn’t do that generated her whole experience.

  16. Jdog

    1. No, you don’t count up the wounds and get to decide that the person with fewer is the assailant. Hell, in some awful situations, the victim — the person attacked — ends up unmarked, and the assailant dead. When that’s done lawfully (for which there are many requirements) we have a technical term for it: self defense.

    2. Simply having a story and a term to wave around — be it “suicide prevention” or “anybody wanna see a hot naked babe” — doesn’t make it okay.

    3. Few — not no, but few — victims of police misconduct (to use a gentle term for a bunch of badged pervs stripping the clothes off a woman for no good reason, albeit with a lame excuse) are without flaw. If pervs are going to be able to yank the clothes off anybody who is imperfect, there’s going to be a lot of unhappy imperfect naked people and happy badged perverts running around.

    That wouldn’t be a good thing.

  17. SHG

    Didn’t you read the part about “old-lady version of common sense?”  That’s code for “I think Nancy Grace is smart and doesn’t have a fat butt.”  And if she got raped, she musta asked for it.  She just musta.

  18. John

    You claim this is my spin, I have left links to prove my “spin”/opinion. So where is your proof?

    The niece had the only injury?!?! Where did you EVER hear that?
    Steffey testified, under oath, in court that when she was denied medical assistance she went to the hospital after she was released and was diagnosed with a concussion.

    They get to forcibly take your cloths?? Gezzz they have to give the person the chance to remove them voluntarily, they did NOT do this in this case.


  19. anonymous

    There is no evidence to show she was suicidal. An furthermore, if you research this police station, you will find other claims by women where the male officers have demeaned them in the same way. They use “suicidal” as an excuse to personally humiliate women, and strip their humanity by leaving them naked on a cold floor.

    This is America. Not Iraq.

  20. mcsam


    Your “Old lady version of common sense” condones a male deputy restraining and torturing a naked female inmate, while another male deputy sexually assaults her with his fingers? Do you tell your grandson that this treatment of a naked womman is acceptable behavior? Your bottom line says that Mrs. Steffey deserved this treatment. Froggy, you cannot justify the sexual assault and torture of any human being, black or white, male of female. I feel sorry for your grandson if you are his teacher.

  21. mcsam

    You refer to Mrs. Steffey as a “trailer park ho”. Jessica Marie Lunsford, a 9 year old who lived in a double wide trailer in Florida with her father and grandparents was kidnapped, raped and murdered. I guess in your perverted eyes the child deserved it, just because she lived in a trailer park. Again, sexual assault and torture of another human being, can never be justified. Mrs. Steffey exposed the sexual sadists that work at the Stark County Jail. You should be grateful.

  22. froggy

    Its emotional spin to put words in my mouth. None of it is palatable, and no I don’t like it, didn’t say I did. But yes, when you go to jail, it’s a strip search, not rape or sexual assault. To call it a crime is sensationalism.
    What I have said is: If you go to jail, expect a strip search. Expect it. It goes with every jail trip. I wish it didn’t, but as long as stupid people fight with each other and fight with the cops, they will go to jail. And they will be strip searched. Its not sexual assault, but it is an invasive and uncomfortable and humiliating search for drugs and weapons because that’s where people hide them. I agree its ugly, but….If Steffey hadn’t fought with cops (I have noticed how most blogs leave that ought or rush over it, that she fought with the police over them seizing a state driver’s license from her that was not hers)..if Steffey had not fought with police, she wouldn’t have gone through the entire jail thing (which includes a strip search and can include suicide watch).

    So, yes, it will work with my grandson that I’m teaching him to behave; he’ll never wind up with his ass in the air being hunted for drugs or have his pants taken off because he’s acting out and put on suicide watch. He’ll be above acting stupid like that. Personal responsibility for one’s actions works.

  23. froggy

    Actually, Im not sure I’ve ever seen the law where they have to ask someone to take off their own clothes before they do it for them. Site it and I’ll concede on that point, but since you forfeit many civil rights when you are in jail, they don’t give you too many choices and I don’t think there’s one for that.

    I do have to ask what white bread world do some of you live in? Do you truly not know anyone who has gone to jail? The strip search gets done on everyone, period, who goes to jail. Hope isn’t special or unique. I’m betting this is just the first time a lot of people have really contemplated what a strip search means, what jail means, that while they may have heard the term many times and even chuckled at it, this is really and truly the first time they’ve figured it out.

    And here I think is where I must share my embarrassing truth as a frame of reference; 15 years ago I was arrested for Drunk Driving. I spent one night in jail. yes, I was strip-searched. I got myself arrested, AND I take full responsibility for the consequences. I didn’t like it, but that’s the consequences of my actions that caused me to go to jail. Humiliation, powerlessness, loss of control, loss of rights; that’s jail. I did that to myself, and no one else caused it, just like Hope did it to herself.

    The day may come where there is no crime, and no criminals, and women never carry weapons, never carry drugs, never are in danger of suicide, and never do anything wrong, and never fight with police. But its not here yet.

    And John, I got the information about the injuries from the news reports.. not from blogs, oh my dear no. Blogs tend to be very biased with outrageous personal spin, laden with emotional adjectives to support someone’s personal viewpoint. The reports that her supporters post also contain some facts like the injuries for the niece, but you have to read through their ‘omg Steffey was raped by male cops!’ to get to some of the facts buried in all of it.

    One thing that most of the blogs bleep over, I’ve found, but that you can find if you dig through the news reports, is that she fought with the cop who seized the state driver’s license from her, the one that wasn’t hers.

    That’s the point where Steffey could have seen that NONE of this happened to her. She could have just let the cop take the license that wasn’t hers, after all, its state property. But, as one friend of hers put it on their blog, ‘If indeed, Steffey became belligerent and irrational, she had a right to, wouldn’t you?’

    Im going to say: no. And stand by that answer. Watch what happens if you don’t fight with police. Then, take a look at what happens when you do.

    I do have to give credit to a blog that allows dissenting opinions.

  24. froggy

    Mrs Steffey fought with the cops when they came to investigate a catfight between her and her niece, and she got herself arrested because of fighting with them. She went to jail. She got put on suicide watch, and had her clothes taken from her so she didn’t hang herself with them. I have no gratitude or any other emotional response to that in any direction. I’ll leave the emotional acting out to Mrs. Steffey.

  25. froggy

    “Strip search”. Again, strip searches are given to everyone who goes to jail. Ask yourself, what did you think the term meant all these years when you heard it? Did you ever hear it on a comedy channel, and giggle? Stop one moment and think about what you thought ‘Strip search’ meant all along, up to the time you saw Hope’s video for the first time. Do you still have the same picture of ‘strip search’ that you had, or has this revised your picture of what one entails?

    “Put on suicide watch:” Even I didn’t think wholly on what that one means before this. I thought they just took your belt and shoelaces. But now I know, and so do you.

  26. mcsam

    Dear Froggy:
    No emotional spin: Did you hear the laughter after the sexual assault. It is sexual assault. I guess I am a stupid person. I am glad I am a stupid person. I have not lost my soul. Did you not witness a male deputy holding down a naked female, while a another male deputy violated her with his fingers? And They laughed about it? Your grandson will rape and torture women and laugh about it it. Is that want you want for your grandson? Check out zemo999 vidoes, Mrs Steffey did not fight with the police. The videos are evidence in themselves. Froggy, stay away from your grandson, you are a bad influence. People are human beings, even if they live in a
    Trailer Park. RIP JESSICA MARIA!

  27. John

    QUOTE “Again, strip searches are given to everyone who goes to jail.”

    Where in the heck did you ever get this?? More misinformation?

    Yeah strip searches are given to everyone in prison…(people that are convicted of a crime)…not to people for misdemeanors that are going to be released after booking.

    And even then, strip searches are supposed to be done a certain way.

    You should really look into some of this instead of just typing the first thing that you think of.

    And I can tell you have never looked into THIS case or tried to contact anyone about it. Because once you try to talk to anyone at Stark County about this, it becomes clear very quickly that they have something to hide.

  28. John

    QUOTE “I’ve found, but that you can find if you dig through the news reports, is that she fought with the cop”

    I have found that the news papers are just as biased, if not more so, than the blogs.
    If you read my above posts I even have a link to PROVE it.

    And I am starting to see where your bias is coming from.
    So when you were strip searched were two men holding you down and helping to strip off your clothes??
    Did they ASK you to remove your cloths, like in the link I provided, or did they just attack you, like they did Steffey?

    See you are accusing the blogs of skipping over stuff, but here you are doing the same.

    And you keep saying that she fought with the police…the ONLY piece of evidence I have seen is the arrest video, AFTER THE COP HAD BEATEN HER, she is pissed and cussing him out. I NEVER seen any of the “physical abuse” that the cops claim.
    And I know you have not either, because I have gotten just about every video the State investigation did.

    And you keep on about if Steffey hadn’t done what she did… You mean that if someone is attacked, its their fault!?!

    A relative of yours comes up and smacks you…and your to blame???

    Please explain that one to me….

    BTW I have saved every news report that I ever found about this case. A LOT of them have disappeared, even after I asked the webmaster to relink them.

  29. John

    QUOTE “Personal responsibility for one’s actions works.”

    Not with these cops.

    And a strip search does NOT go with every jail trip…I guess you keep saying that because it happened to you.

    The cops have to have probable cause.

    And if they didn’t have that in your case it was illegal also.

    This problem usually comes up around bigger cities, they know most women will not want to relive the embarrassment by filing a complaint or lawsuit.

    Thank goodness Steffey’s sacrifice will change the way people are treated in Ohio.
    I have talked to Butch Hunyadi at the Bureau of Adult Detention (614-752-1062), and the laws are even now in the process of being changed, because of abuse like this.

    BTW The Stark County Sheriff had a webpage that stated they had not found any weapons for YEARS with a strip search….(like since metal detectors?)

  30. mcsam

    Froggy; Watching a male deputy restaining and torturing a naked woman, while another male deputy sexually assaults her with his fingers is not acceptable behavior in any jail in the United States. I guess that is why there are strict strip search policys concerning gender. I think any human being that does not get emotional after seeing what happened to Mrs. Steffey at the Stark County Jail has lost there soul. Please tell me, you do not tell your grandson this is acceptable treatment of a woman. Do you also teach him to laugh at people that are in distress? I hope you would teach your grandson to help people in distress.

  31. SHG

    A point of order: John has tried to post numerous links, from Youtube videos to articles, to support his statements. I have asked him not to do so, not because his information and links do not support his statements (they do), but because of this blawg’s linking policies.

    As to the lastest sparring, I ask everyone to bear in mind that there will always be someone who is so myopic and simplistic that they will argue that anyone who messes with the police gets what they deserve, no matter how improper, unnecessary or irrational. I urge you not to feel compelled to argue the point to the death, as if you might convince the poster that you are right and they are wrong. Such ideas are absurd, and those who post such ideas in these comments are simply ignorant people who will never have a firm grasp on reality.

    There will always be ignorant people who have simplistic and irrational answers. That’s life. Feel free to respond to them if you must, but bear in mind that just because one ignorant person feels compelled to prove their ignorance to the world doesn’t mean that the rest of the world doesn’t recognize them as being clearly and fundamentally wrong. Every stupid statement doesn’t require a response.

  32. mcsam

    SHG, You are correct about ignorant people who have simplistic and irrational answers concerning sexual assault and torture. Froggy, by all means create another soul less monster in your grandson.

  33. anonymous

    You are just dumb, sorry. Strip searches ARE NOT STANDARD PROCEDURE. And when they ARE DONE, they are NOT done by officers of the opposite sex. Dear god in heaven. WHAT are you talking about? Furthermore strip searches are most associated with those in the jail system, NOT with those who are merely being charged with a crime and no verdict has been reached.

    You keep acting like it is standard procedure, and it is NOT. And even if it were, it was done incorrectly.

  34. John

    I had forgot about the links…sorry.

    I get carried away trying to show everyone what is really going on here.

    I sometimes forget that they haven’t talked to as many people as I have and don’t realize everything that has gone on in this case.

    Instead they read a article about what the police claim and assume its the truth.
    I have plenty of records from the police & BCI that would make Steffey look bad, if you didn’t know the rest of the story.
    One BIG thing I have not been able to get from anyone is Steffey’s interviews/statements in these investigations.
    Still trying though…

  35. John S.

    The more I read some of your remarks, the more I’m convinced you’re one of those molesting that woman in the video.
    While much of what you say is true, much of it is also misinformation. The only thing I don’t know for sure is were you misinformed or are you propagating misinformation. I tend to believe the later.
    Of course law enforcement officers take precautions in order avoid harm to themselves and to the individual the are charged with arresting. That said, I’ve been to jail and was not strip-searched. In fact, I was never searched at all. My brother is a corrections officer with the rank of Sargent and 20 years experience. I’m told that no convict that came his doors and submitted to removing their own clothing and submitting to a search has ever been forcibly stripped.
    You have a right to an lawyer AFTER you’re released? What country do you live in? Everywhere I’ve checked you have the right to a lawyer immediately upon being informed that you are under arrest. In fact, they tell you exactly that when they read you your rights.
    When you go to jail, you give up your civil liberties? Again, what country are you from? Obama hasn’t abolished the constitution, yet. Even when you’re convicted of a crime, and go to prison, you still retain your civil liberties. You’ve never heard of convicts filing lawsuits from prison?
    As for “suicide watch”. In the city I live, it takes the written, signed opinion of a psychiatric professional that a person is a danger to himself or to others to have them put on suicide watch. And they are NEVER left naked. Why? Very simple. Man power. When you’re on suicide watch someone is responsible for literally visually watching you every second you’re in custody.
    As for the original cause of her arrest, her sisters drivers license. You are correct, it is the property of the state and must be surrendered upon the request by the state. Also, law enforcement officers are required to confiscate counterfeit IDs immediately and legitimate IDs if they are being used in an attempt to conceal an identity. As the officer involved is not a representative of the State, and as far as I know the lady wasn’t claiming to be her sister, I don’t see where the license was being legally confiscated. I took an informal poll. No one I know has ever received a demand from any state for the return of a deceased family members drivers license. In fact, my father passed away 4 years ago and Pennsylvania still hasn’t demanded his ID returned. Why? Because it’s really not that big a deal. They laughed when I asked the local police how long we had to surrender it.
    And there is a thing called compassion. Had the responding officer had the least bit of compassion, or even simply concentrated on why he was there, none of those horrors would have been perpetrated against that lady.
    You are either ill-informed on the most common sense things, or you’re a bald faced liar.

    Have a good life Deputy. (Or is that Sheriff?)

  36. Mike Rush

    Froggy is just another dumb assed cop. Most of them think this way now a days. I honestly think the police have cut public relations training in order to save money. It’s showing everywhere you look. Well, this is still the USA for now, and speaking for myself, I’ve been falsely arrested for the final time.

  37. John

    QUOTE “As for the original cause of her arrest, her sisters drivers license.”

    Not as far as I have found. Richard T. Gurlea Jr even testified at court that Steffey was NOT trying to pass herself off as her sister. (With a photo ID)

    As for the cause of arrest, there seems to be a couple different ones.
    One says that he arrested her after she interrupted him.

    But at trial he then claimed she “poked” him on the chest.
    Two witnesses disputed that, (besides Steffey).

    The real reason I believe is that he blew up and roughed her up, and then needed to cover himself, so THEN he turns on the camera and arrests her.

  38. John

    No reply to my questions?

    No links to the news reports? Or even a copy of them?

    I know it hard to keep links that are good, the sheriff gets rid of his too.
    Like this one:

    But heres part of what he had on the webpage:

    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 they are saying, that their suicide polices are not only getting them 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!!

    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!

  39. SHG

    After the same things have been repeated three times, it’s fair to say that there’s nothing new to add.

  40. John

    LoL oh you want something new?


    WOW, talked to the Stark County Prosecutor’s office, twice.

    I had left a message for John Ferrero to return, but I got someone from their criminal division.
    They claimed to know nothing, and referred me to the State Investigators.
    I said if you people asked for the investigation, why would you know nothing about it? Didn’t they send you a report?

    She claimed no report was sent, until I told her that I had already talked to Paul Scarsella, and had already seen the report that they sent.
    THEN she did admit they did receive a “letter”.
    But that the investigation was handled by the state and if I wanted info I should contact them.

    So then I asked about the settlement, she claimed she was in the criminal division and didn’t know anything about the settlement.
    So I asked if there was ANYONE there that would know. She said someone from the civil division should know, and asked if I wanted to talk to them. So she passed my name & number to them.

    So this guy from the civil division then claims they know nothing about the settlement, that it was done through the insurance company.

    So I ask about the ‘policy change’ that was part of the lawsuit.

    He said that had not been changed, and that they will continue to “save people’s lives”.
    I said they didn’t save her life, the sheriff’s manufactured evidence wouldn’t fool anyone with half a brain. She was being sarcastic, NOT suicidal.

    So I asked who WOULD know the settlement. His suggestion was to call Steffey.
    I said you have a case that went national, and NO ONE there knows anything??
    So I asked for the insurance company, just to see if he’d offer it up.

    He did. But theres more than a good chance theres going to be a brick wall there too.

    AMAZING that NO ONE at the Prosecutors office knows anything about a case that went national & that they asked the state to come into investigate!!

    And a call to the County commissioners gets no one except a referral to call the Sheriff’s Dept…..I think I’m seeing a pattern here….Grrrrr

  41. John

    More new stuff:
    Called Vivianne Duffrin at the Stark County jail, and asked about the settlement.
    Oh Vivianne Duffrin knew the details, she just wouldn’t say what the settlement was, since in her definition the case wasn’t over yet, because the lawyers were still settling for fees.

    She keeps dragging this out and then wonders why people don’t trust them?!?!

    I did ask if the policy change had been part of the settlement and she DID confirm that there was NO policy change.

    I asked where all the information was that I had asked for, apparently she’s claiming that she didn’t get the last FOIA letter I sent. (Registered mail from now on!!)

    So she keeps claiming that the cops were in the right, while squirming to avoid direct answers to my questions.

    I asked how Steffey could be arrested for the assault when the cops KNEW her niece had been arrested the month before.

    Her answer was that Steffey had fought with police before. Under a different last name from her first husband.

    Oh may as well post the PROOF, so everyone can check it out for themselves.

    Heres the records search, just choose to search ALL the courts & ALL the records:


    Then search for Hope Barbera, you should get this:


    Judge : No judge entered
    Case Status : open
    Filed On: 11/01/1987

    There are NO other cases listed against Hope under that name.

    SURPRISE huh?
    Another lie from Stark County!?!?

  42. John

    Sorry about that last link, can you just delete the link out??

    Or the whole thing and I can repost without the link, make them find it themselves.

  43. angela

    I am not upset there are still people ignorant of the “Police State” we live in. We are Americans. We are in Iraq and Afganistan fighting for another Peoples’ freedom! Why?! Cops in America need a reality check. There is no such thing as a good cop. If there were they would be fighting tooth and nail to destroy the dark cloud of lawlessness and abuse of power that is too common today. What happened to Hope was an outrage. The idiot on here who is saying she deserved it has got to be a renegade cop. You COWARDS! You abusive adrenaline junkies! You God Complex b*******! Cops have to obey the law just like everyone else. This goes on all the time. The freak cops who don’t speak up are just as guilty. Most are sexual perverts, the women too. They want to degrade, and humiliate people. They hide behind their badges. I am glad when I see them exposed for the monsters and emotional misfits they are. It is unfortunate they get away with MURDER, because people don’t have the determination and resourses to hold them accountable for their bad actions. I live for the day, a bright spotlight is put on their dirty deeds. I know first hand, once you are in police custody you have no rights. They can and do..do anything they feel like doing to you. I wish their Mothers could see them. God is watching. You don’t get away with anything on this earth. There is a God. If you are a dirty abusive cop, I expect you don’t want to abide by the laws that govern these United States. This is a great country. Americans cannot sit by and watch our great country be destroyed by rabid dogs in uniform. The fight is not over. The American people are taking inventory. You will be dealt with in a court of law, by the book. All no good cops will be brought down by the same laws you violate against the people.

  44. Forrest

    I have followed this event from the very first day it was reported. I consider myself a reasonable person who does not form opinions or make judgements until I know all possible facts of both sides of an issue. It is blatently clear Hope Steffey’s constitutional rights were violated. It is sad that she and her husband setteled out of court. Unfortunately many times an offer of money causes people who have been mistreated such as Hope will blur the end result of bringing the very people who perpetrated this injustice to book. In my opinion every person at the Stark County Sheriff’s department who were involved in this insidious act of barbarism should be fired, arrested and prosecuted to full extent of the law. Hopefully they would be found guilty on all counts, sent to prison and be treated in kind. But as the old saying goes money talks and bull Sh*t walks. How can Hope’s husband face himself in the mirror each morning knowing he sold out his wife’s dignity for a sum of money. If two men stripped my wife naked under any circumstances no amount of money would justify this. I feel doubly sorry for Hope knowing what she went through at the hands of these so called “community servants” and then her husband agreed to forget the matter for money. This was a domestic dispute and she called for help. Little did she know or realize the torture that was in store for her. Stark County residents, vote this Sheriff out of office. You may be the next victim.

  45. mcsam

    If Sheriff Swanson was an honorable, or decent human being, he would resign. Unfortunately, these barbaric rituals continue at the Stark County Jail. I wonder how many more lawsuits will it take for them to stop these sadistic policies.

  46. Anonymous

    Not just there. I was watching American Jails on History channel I think, and it showed similar practices. A man was banging his head against the walls, and overall, acting out and saying self-hurtful and suicidal things. So they strapped him to a table and stripped him naked and left him there. Not sure what the point of the nudity really is, other than to further degrade people.

  47. John

    I can get an idea of why they might settle.
    But unless you have been though something like this, and then to have a video of it splashed across national TV & the internet, I guess we’d have no idea what it would actually be like.

    Plus you have to remember that she would have to face having her name & reputation smeared yet again in court.

    Her case has done so much to bring these abuses to light, and the laws are being changed to stop the abuses, but they won’t be completed until 2010.

    I also would want any guys that had done that to my wife to go to trial, but if she had to go through an ordeal to do it, I might not want her to suffer anymore either.
    Especially considering what she has sacrificed already.

    And remember when you do go to a trial, all the “missing” evidence, the slanted “investigations”, and the outright lies that you would be fighting against.
    Its like a stacked deck. Even the news papers printed stuff they KNEW was not true. That is the really scary part, is how many people were in on this cover up.

  48. Forrest

    John, you do have somewhat of a valid argument up to a point. I’m sure most people remember the Ron Williams case in Ada, Oklahoma. If not then it is available in gory detail in John Grisham’s book “The Innocent man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town”. The corruption of both the local “community servants” and prosecutor Bill Peterson brought an innocent man within five days of being executed.
    I don’t know any details about the Stark County prosecutor but we all know about Sheriff Swanson and his minions. I’m sure they would go to any length of lying, falsifying evidence and outright human debauchery to prove their innocence and save face.
    That being said, there comes a time in our lives where we have to stand against evil at all costs and these people are absolutely evil to the core.
    They are not just a few good old boys and girls trying to save face after they have been exposed of their practicing fetish. Again I say they are inherently evil.
    Hope has already been shown on nationwide TV on the floor naked being sexually assaulted by two men. She and her husband should have had the courage to stand up to these reprobates and insure this does not happen to your, my wife or daughter.
    Hopefully there would have been twelve good and righteous people serving on the jury to send these sad sadistic sub humans away for a long time.

  49. John

    I would hope there would be twelve good and righteous people serving on the jury too.

    Unfortunately I have read Hope Steffey’s first trial transcripts.
    The only thing I can figure out is that the jury believed only the cop, and that the video of Steffey cussing him out after he had assaulted her made them believe that she had been this way the whole time. Even though they never showed the WHOLE video!

    The cousin that attacked Steffey testified that she was the designated driver, even though she also testified that she was never behind the wheel.

    The cop testifies that the investigation is never finished, because Steffey can’t contribute to it. So do we believe that anyone knocked out or killed never has their case solved??

    Nothing made sense, the cop was caught lying, but still this jury found Steffey guilty.

    I have lost faith in finding enough people smart enough to do the job of a jury.
    Although I have to admit Steffey’s lawyer was no Perry Mason, but I believe if I could have a do over I think I have enough evidence to convince the jury now.

  50. John

    AGAIN froggy you say Steffey fought with police.
    I have read her trial transcript. I do NOT see anything other than the deputy claimed that she “poked” his chest. BUT then this “poke” is disputed by two witnesses that said she was only pointing to the license that he had in his pocket.
    And since the cop didn’t “feel the need” to turn on his camera, despite the fact that he had a body mic & control for it, I guess there is NO PROOF of this “fight” that you keep talking about.

    But if you have proof, lets see it…

  51. John

    OH BTW I don’t know much about the Ron Williams case you mention, but from what I have seen while looking for info on this case, the Williams case doesn’t look that bad.
    Try Donald Scott, the guy that was murdered by police & other agencies for his land.

    Or Kathryn Johnston, a 92 yr old woman murdered by police, and then they planted “evidence”.

    Or Montague County Sheriff Bill Keating that was arrested for running a sex slave ring out of his jail.

    How about Rachelle Jackson, a nurse that tried to help some cops that had crashed, and then she’s falsely arrested for more than 10 months on charges that she robbed, battered and disarmed a peace officer. She was later awarded $7.7 million

    I could go on, but you get the idea…this isn’t an isolated case of police misconduct.
    Its an ongoing problem.

  52. Forrest

    Interesting reply John. It appears that the people in law inforcement are pretty much the same calibre everywhere. I’m not from Oklahoma but in my state it is deja vu all over again. One of my best friends in high school bacame a state trooper. He was a very down to earth honest likeable guy until he strapped on his firearm. He became another person. I think it has something to do with the ego of having power over other people and subsequently these people come to believe they can do what ever they please in the name of the law. They become Dirty Harry gone wild. And then when they are brought to book and the police/sheriff department has to pay retribution for their senseless acts we the tax payers have to foot the bill. What ever happened to a person being responsible for their own actions? Oh well I guess this case is closed and we will just have to wait for another atrocity by America’s finest to start espousing common sense values again.

  53. John

    Oh yeah the case the settled and the Stark County criminals now want the case to quietly disappear, just like the three teen girls that were strip searched.

    Unfortunately for them I plan on beating them with their own evidence, until this abuse is stopped.

    I tried to contact the sheriff’s office again yesterday to see where the info I had requested was. Looks like they are gone until after the holiday.

    BTW, just to give you a glimpse of what these people are like.
    The first evidence I was given was the trial transcript.
    I was never billed for that evidence, UNTIL I requested more evidence. Then they billed me for the transcripts & the other evidence, AFTER they had sent it to me.
    I sent payment back in a certified check the same day they requested payment.

    Now this last request they billed me before they would even send the info!
    (I also sent a bank certified check back to them the next day for this.)

    Its been two weeks and I still haven’t seen my stuff and now I have to call and see what the holdup is.

    People see me post and wonder WHY I have a burr under my saddle and WHY I find these people so pathetic (& criminal).

    This is just one small example of WHY.

    These people claim they did nothing wrong, but still try at every turn to sleaze their way out of anyone investigating this.

  54. mcsam

    Ultimately, Forrest is correct, the taxpayers are paying for these police abuses. Perhaps, all law enforcement officers should be required to carry some kind of liability insurance for police brutality. These officers need to be held accountable in some way or these abuses will continue. If a law enforcement officer is found guilty of abusing a citizen, his insurance premium should go up.

    I also feel something has to be done on a federal level. All these abuses eventually end up in federal court anyway. Perhaps, violating a citizens civil rights, should have stiffer penalties.

  55. John R.

    Generally, LEO’s are insured for this purpose and others. Then the insurance company pays the valid claims, at least in theory. Then they raise the premiums, which eventually hits the taxpayers.

    That’s the system. It attenuates the wrongdoer from the payor, but insures payment to the wronged party.

  56. mcsam

    We as a country, have to make these LEO’S personally responsible in some way, or these abuses will continue. We should make them financially and criminally responsible. Attach their wages, put leins against their personal property to ensure that their criminal behavior has a price. I personally do not condone these savage abuses, therefore why should I have to pay for their abuses.

  57. John

    I have contacted ALL my Reps about this case.

    And they blow me off about it every time. Like I’m just one guy and they won’t do crap about it.

    I need some way to bring this case back into the public eye, to keep reminding people what is going on in America.

  58. Forrest

    Judging from your posts you seem like quite an intelligent person (and no he did not pay me to say this :-). Also you share the same values as most Americans. So if you are serious about bringing this back into the public eye I have a suggestion. Please consider seriously before making a decision. Write a book exposing the corruption and debauchery of the local Stark County sheriff department. You are close to this case and have inside information that most of us are not privy to. Also, surely this is not an isolated incident coming out of this Good Old Boy sheriff department. If you do your homework properly and have all your facts straight and in order you do not have to be concerned about being sued by these lowlifes. And if they choose to sue then you are protected. When your manuscript is complete submit it to a publisher such as Random House or any of the reputable publishers. Here is a good place to start gathering information on “how to write a book“. You may end up as another John Grisham.

  59. mcsam

    John, I agree with Forrest, you should write a book. Your courage in the Hope Steffey Case has given me hope. You have been diligent and fearless in your pursuit of the truth about these monsters at the Stark County Jail! I admire you.

  60. Forrest

    I went back and reviewed all the comments.
    On 10/23/2009 SHG wrote:
    After the same things have been repeated three times, it’s fair to say that there’s nothing new to add and even included a cartoon of someone beating a dead horse.
    Does anyone know the identity of SGH? Could it be SHG is one of the “community servants” who took part in this arrest and incarceration of this dangerous suicidal criminal and treated her with the same kindness and consideration they would have given to their own mother?
    You may think I am being facetious but I believe these people, and I use the word with reservation, are capable of engaging in any act which will bring them personal gratification. I will leave it there and let you draw your own conclusions.
    My response to SHG is that even though you obviously believe there is nothing to add, what took place that night is just the tip of the iceberg, or shall I say icebergs across America. I do not know your gender but if you are female and went through the same experience I believe your post would not be the same. If you are male and a female member of your family experienced the same your post would also be different.
    Go for it John. Expose these community servants for what they are. Write that book.

  61. SHG

    Does anyone know the identity of SGH? Could it be SHG is one of the “community servants” who took part in this arrest and incarceration of this dangerous suicidal criminal and treated her with the same kindness and consideration they would have given to their own mother?

    There are some oblivious people here, but you take the cake.  I am your host.  That the story of Hope Steffey appears on this page is because I wrote it.  You post, and John’s posts, appear because I provide a place for them to exist and allow you to post on my blawg.  And this, Forrest, wins you the award for the single stupidest comment ever posted.  Congratulations.

  62. John

    I should also thank Scott, I have posted more than everyone probably.
    And he has a popular blog that will hopefully get this around to as many people as possible.

    So far that’s been the only way I can figure as to punish these people. And even then I have not been able to get a letter to the editor at their local paper, even though I have called and one of the editors said they would publish one.

    I am also wanting to get a new video made for YouTube, but I am still waiting on vital pieces of evidence that I have asked for.

    As for the book, its a possibility, but I have already promised (to someone) that I would not post anything we discussed. Yet.

    I have to point out though that I haven’t even gotten through all the evidence that I have gotten so far.
    It is SO HARD to do!
    After dealing with these people for over a year, and knowing how they have acted, and then to read some of the spew that they have put in these reports, even as I have proof positive that contradicts everything in them…well it is really enraging.

    I mean you read incident after incident where they have distorted or lied, and then as your going through more evidence you find yet another.
    Finally you have to wonder if ANYTHING The cops said is true. Its really infuriating.

    Well gotta run, BTW follow Scott on Twitter, he has some other excellent posts on his blog.

  63. Forrest

    You got me SHG. You got me good and deservingly so. I should have taken the time to look to see who the host was. I think ignorant is a better description than stupid because I was ignorant of this fact. But I will accept either description because I have offended you. As the saying goes, stupid is as stupid does. My apologies are in order and hereby offered.
    I want to thank you for providing a place for us to express our opinions on this topic. If you desire for me to cease to post I will comply.

  64. SHG

    Nah, I don’t want you to cease posting.  I’m just grumpy in the morning before my 7th cup of coffee.  Sorry about that. Carry on.

  65. SHG

    I thought you were going to call me on the coffee part altogehter.  “Scew the 7th cup, he’s just grumpy.”

  66. Jdog

    Nah. There’s a dwarf named that. As well as Sleepy, and such. There used to be a lot more, before Snow White caught on, and got rid of Hungry.

  67. John

    Finally received a reply from the FBI, but only to note that they had received my request and that they had assigned it a case #, and to assure me that they would be searching for the info I requested.

    But that due to a large number of requests there might be a delay.

    Hopefully I will get it sooner than Stark County has been sending me the info I have asked from them!

  68. mudslinger

    the problem with your assertion that steffy was the assailant is contrary to witness statements. As far as being strip-searched it’s against the law in all states without probable cause. And something no one seems to want to address, even if it was a suicide precaution why couldn’t the five female officers handle one handcuffed 113 pounds woman. If 5 female officers couldn’t handle one handcuffed woman, why are they on the cert team? And what evidence is there to make her so suicidal that she couldn’t wear a suicide prevention gown. And if she was so suicidal as yet he kept nude for six hours why was she not referred to a mental institute upon release. And if the police officers are innocent of any wrongdoing why are they withholding evidence?

  69. John

    Contacted John Boccieri today about the money he just got for the sheriff’s office. Asked him to get new cameras instead and to see what he could do about the jail policies that they admit are still having men strip women & leave them naked.


    Be sure to point out this Sheriff is named in a LOT of lawsuits (7 or 8) and this crap needs to be stopped NOW.

    Contact Me

    I am here to serve the residents of the 16th Congressional District, and so is my staff.

    We can be reached in Washington D.C.at (202) 225-3876, in Canton at (330) 489-4414 , or Toll Free at (800) 826-9015.

    Boccieri District Office

    300 W Tuscarawas St.
    Suite 716
    Canton, OH 44702
    (330) 489-4414

    Boccieri DC Office:

    1516 Longworth HOB
    Washington, DC 20515
    (202) 225-3876

  70. CL317

    So Froggy you want to see where it says they have to ask you too remove your clothes before they do it for you? United States Constitution Fourth Amendment, prevents unreasonable searches and seizures. And they did not ask her.
    In addition to that your entire argument is ignorant. If you are ever arrested for your sake I hope is doesn’t happen in Ohio. You must also be one of these socially blind individuals that think everyone who gets arrested is guilty.
    Cops are not gods they are people, they can and do represent both the best and worst of humanity, just like the rest of us.

  71. John

    QUOTE “AGAIN froggy you say Steffey fought with police.
    But if you have proof, lets see it…”

    Well no proof so far…I guess she’s just pulling these accusations out of her…hat.

    [Ed. Note: Links deleted.]

  72. None of your business

    Froggy, it is internet, not internets. Show your ignorance somewhere else please. Your attempts to justify this police station’s conduct is beyond offensive.

  73. John

    Got the FBI stuff yesterday 2-23-2010. I just got a chance to read it all today. (What there was of it.)

    This is worse than I thought, it was a “joint investigation” by the FBI & the BCI.

    So basically I got the same BS cop reports, that I got from the state, only these had even more stuff blocked out than the stuff I got from the state!

    So basically the sheriff supplied ALL the the evidence.
    Then the BCI took all the police reports, rubber stamped them as fact, even though the evidence didn’t support them.

    And then the FBI copied everything the BCI got from the sheriff, overlooked all the conflicting reports, testimony, & videos (& lies from the sheriff), and rubber stamped their reports as fact also.
    Also since they copied the BCI “investigation” verbatim they have stuff WRONG in their copies of it.
    The FBI says that the BCI is investigating if Steffey’s civil rights were violated, but the BCI report states the EXACT OPPOSITE, and in fact it is the FBI that is supposed to be investigating her civil rights violations!!!

    NO WHERE in ALL of this “evidence” was there ANY effort to look at anything OTHER THAN THE POLICE REPORTS.
    No other witness interviews other than cops, no rebuttal from Steffey herself or her witnesses….NOTHING!

    I plan on contacting the FBI more about information, but since there was no effort to actually investigate this case, I know already that the information I am going to ask for isn’t going to be there.

    I will also go over ALL the discrepancies from what was claimed to what the evidence shows.

    But AGAIN there is no effort from “investigators” to find out the truth of what was really going on that night. (They don’t even bother to explain any of the discrepancies in the evidence they DID gather!)

    This is really unbelievable….Grrrrr

  74. Liz

    Two things:
    1. I’ve been arrested before, and I did NOT get strip searched. Maybe it’s different depending on what juridiction it is, but I can’t immagine that Stark county, Ohio, is a dangerous den of drug smugglers and users.

    2. If you believe that news reports are not biased, then I believe you are naive.

    The question here is not whether Steffey was wrong (she DID resist arrest, she WAS acting in a disorderly manner). The question here is whether the police engaged un excessive force. Sripping a woman simply because she was a smart alec and quite angry seems excessive to me.

  75. John

    QUOTE “she DID resist arrest, she WAS acting in a disorderly manner”

    And why would you say this?

    Allegedly there is NO video of Steffey before she was allegedly assaulted by Officer Richard T. Gurlea Jr.

    The only video the jury saw was AFTER she was allegedly thrown up against the cruiser’s trunk, and then thrown to the ground.
    According to the State Investigators, this video was only started after Officer Richard T. Gurlea Jr heard Steffey’s cousin, Ronald Boni say to “Get the video, He’s beating the shit out of her”.

    Bet you never heard THAT story in the news.
    There is a LOT more to this story!

  76. Liz

    Ah, I thought I read she had been convicted of those crimes. My apologies. Did you read the rest of my post??? Regardless of whether she was disorderly or not, it is NOT RIGHT to have male officers strip a female of her clothes, either for a strip search or for her safety in case of suicide attempts. I’m not arguing with you, I’m agreeing with you. Well, I’m agreeing with you except in the case that you think Steffey is completely innocent in every sense. Unless she has been found not guilty by a jury, she may still be guilty of disorderly conduct. If she has been found innocent then I readily admit to my mistake and retract my statements. While that does not condone what police officers did to her, it certainly does not make her completely innocent. That is to say, she was treated very badly by police officers and they should pay for that, but I’m not convinced that she is a saint. If she is guilty of a crime she should pay for it. Should someone else’s misconduct excuse you from your own misconduct?

  77. John

    Yes, Liz she was convicted of Disorderly & Resisting.

    Steffey also filed an appeal on that conviction, but it was dropped when they went to the civil suit. Which I guess you could say she won, since the county paid damages.

    But that’s what I am trying to say in my last post, in the first trial the jury saw only the ‘arrest video’ that was never started until after she was assaulted, and then the cop convinced the jury this is the way she was the WHOLE time, but there was no evidence. Just his word against her’s & the rest of the witnesses. And the jury chose to believe the cop.

    BUT there is a LOT of evidence that the jury never saw.

    And no I don’t think Steffey is “totally innocent” in “every sense”.

    But I do know that not enough evidence was gathered. The cops excuses make no sense, and there is WAY TOO MUCH video “missing” in this case.

    Plus I have caught the cops/authorities in a LOT of lies, including some today from the BCI investigator, and the day before from a FBI supervisor.

    I mean I have stuff that I know happened, because I have their OWN proof in their reports.

    But I can also make educated guesses from some of the information I have, and from questions that I never get answers for.
    I try to not put these out because I have nothing to back them up, but it is hard to do sometimes.

    I think Steffey made some bad choices that night, but I really don’t know how many were from booze, drugs, or the concussion she suffered. She also may have suffered a “double concussion” after the cop’s assaults, ain’t saying she did, but it’s possible. And would explain her actions.

    Anyway gettin tired and I think I’m starting to ramble….


  78. Cory

    I agree…get it on 60 minutes. I cant imagine that this is supposed to be “fair” conduct by police. This crap needs to stop. Get it NATIONALIZED, there is no way this story can not crack the air. Maybe it will give hope and reason for this stuff to stop.

  79. John

    I had sent a request to Dr Phil show. The cops stated that they were ‘smeared’ on national TV, so I wanted to get on the Dr Phil show and have his polygraph-er do us all to ‘clear their good name’ on national TV.

    Couldn’t get a reply from Dr Phil, and didn’t get any takers from Swanson’s thugs when I posted what I wanted to do….surprise huh!??! LoL

  80. John


    Steffey’s attorney’s are trying to get $624,000 for their fee’s.

    I am thinking Steffeys attorneys fees should have been a third of her settlement, which would reflect an almost $2 million dollar settlement.

    But instead her lawyers release a embarrassing video that goes world wide, in the excuse that they are trying to gather support for their case & client, which they THEN settle for the County’s MINIMUM/MAXIMUM $100,000!! (ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?)

    The insurance company themselves claim over $200,000 in fees in defending this case! But Steffeys lawyers get her less than half that?!?!?

    And then David Malik & Dennis Niermann continue on to garner a fee that reflects a much larger settlement!?!? (OVER SIX TIMES the settlement!!)

    So David Malik & Dennis Niermann get a guaranteed fee without the work or risk of a trial.
    And the Scottsdale Insurance Co. ended up paying ZERO to the victim in this case, and only had to pay her lawyer fees, which they would have had to do anyway.

    Does this seem screwy to you, or is it just me??

  81. SHG

    Your explanation is a bit too short on substance, and a bit too loaded, to be helpful in understanding the issue.  But, it appears your confusing a civil rights action with a personal injury action.  The latter typically involves a one-third contingent fee.  The former does not, and the defendant is responsible for payment of the plaintiff’s legal fees in a civil rights action independant of the amount of recovery in order to allow a person with a civil rights claim to pursue it even if it doesn’t involve a substantial amount of damages.

    Thus, the fact that Steffey received a $100,000 settlement has no bearing on the legal fees.  That the $100k settlement seems quite low is another matter, but may reflect issues that we know nothing about, such as Hope Steffey needing the fund badly and being willing to settle quickly (and cheaply) rather than wait it out for a much larger amount. 

    The legal fee in a civil rights case will be based on time and expenses rather than the amount of recorvery.  Even if the recovery was $1, the attorneys would be able to seek payment for $1M if that’s the time it took to get that $1.  Otherwise, people with low value civil rights cases would never be able to find a lawyer willing to take their case.

  82. Ron

    You are a moron,i was a deputy,we would never have allowed something like that to go on in any jail.I can assure you if that was my wife i would still be kicking theis ass all over the county.they would give their souls to God because their ass would belong to me.They are bad cops,they should be arreseted and put behind bars.Here in texas they would be stripped of their uniforms and commissions and convicted of felony and sexual assualt.That idiot swanson would be fired and his commission removed also.he is a liar ,not a sheriff.here in texas we have a quip.he would not make a pimple on a sheriffs ass.there is too many bad deputies and cops these days.too much power.hang them.oh and if you would get off ur dead ass you get afford the internet.and since your not to smart lets get you and the bad cops smarter.people are always going to rub elbows and there will be friction,the best thing for the police to do is stay out of it until it becomes a crime.Fighting is nature,not a crime.If a gun or knife is involved then the police can get involved,until then keep your damn noses out of it.are you so stupid as to think people are just going to get along.I have fought wars as a marine and when i was a deputy had to settle many a bar fight,but i know people.They are going to fight,that is life.so shut the hell up,I hope you learned something.when i was a deputy we didnt hide behind our badges,cops and deputies were men.We didnt just take someone to jail for punching us,people are going to be people.you will never change that.Remove the tazers,and make them win a fight or get their ass kicked,stop ganging up on people.I’m sick of bad cops who tazer women and old people.What you sow,you will reap.Oh and when God is talking about blessed are the peace makers,he is not talking about cops or deputies.If he just sued them,they got off lucky.next time it may be one of their wives.Think about it.”pissed”

  83. Bob Zena

    I hope Mr. and Mrs. Steffey have enough sense to move far away from Stark county and the Stark county stormtroopers when this is over. The stormtroopers are gonna be looking for revenge on this one.

  84. mcsam

    You are correct: “I hope Mr.and Mrs. Steffey have enough sense to move far away from Stark County and the Stark County stormtroopers when this is over” These deputies are absolute predators! These monsters got away with sexual molestion and torture. The depraved deputies of Stark County, Ohio, will be looking for revenge. These monsters are a danger to society. Have you heard about the newest lawsuit to hit the Stark Couty Jail? The wrongful death of Mr. Steven Galloway. I hope Mrs. Steffey will find some kind of peace in her life. I hope these sexually sadistic deputies, of Stark County Ohio suffer the rest of their natural lives for their crimes against humanity!!!

  85. John

    She might not be able to move far enough, after all the FBI was in on this too.
    I have been trying to find out WHY the FBI covered for this, so I had called the head of the FBI in Stark County, Supervisor John Dysart. I said that Steffey was never suicidal, and had just made a sarcastic comment.
    He came back with they have a recording of her admitting it.
    And I said the sarcasm was very apparent in her voice, and that everyone knew it.
    Then he comes back with “well THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID”. And then he tells me to go to an airport and “tell them I have a bomb” and see what happens. (So apparently everyone KNOWS this is BS, but they are using her statement as justification.)

    So besides all these other people that have been arrested for jokes/sarcastic statements at airports, now I have the head of the FBI telling me to go tell them I have a bomb?!?!?

    Then John gets irate when he can’t BS me around and then says he doesn’t want to “argue the case” with me any more.

    I said this is your OWN REPORTS, how do you “argue” with your own evidence???

    They have the shift that stripped her saying she was the ‘drunkest person that they had ever seen’, in their investigation reports.
    While the shift an hour and a half later says they come in and detect NO effects or even smell of alcohol about Steffey.
    I just asked after all the lies they had been caught in, and the video proof, HOW did they take the one shift’s testimony over the other? And WHY did you cover for them, does Swanson have that much pull?

    But now John doesn’t want to argue the case, and wants me to go be a “sarcastic bomber” instead.

    So now I’m fishing for someone higher to tell me WHY this was covered up.

    Oh I also ran across the BCI investigation’s evidence that includes Sheriff Swanson ENCOURAGING officers to use their videos for “training purposes”.

    I called the sheriff’s office and asked if videos like the Hope Steffey video had been used for “training” . I said you can’t use them right…with the privacy laws!??!

    They said that they DO use them for training, but that they ‘didn’t think’ Steffey’s video had been used.

    “REALLY?”, I said, so then send me a copy of the sign out sheet.

    They said they would not release a copy, then after I kept asking they claimed that there was no sign out sheet.

    Right, first they won’t release them, then they don’t exist….just like a lot of video that came up “missing” in this case.

    I have to wonder how many agencies that looked into the abuses get copies of these tapes?? Or what other incentive would they have to keep the abuses quiet?

  86. Claire

    That’s actually be proven in psychology tests where they give one person power over another, it nearly always goes to their heads.

  87. Claire

    So basically, like all rape victims, it was her own fault?

    (Yes, that was sarcasm too, I wasn’t really saying rape victims ask for it)

  88. Frank

    I’m in my 50’s and Cops like these were once an anomally, now they seem the norm. When I was twelve a cop hauled a friend and me to the station for throwing snowballs at a street light in front of our own home. There was no way we could, and we had no intention to break it. All the other cops rolled their eyes and shook their heads when we were booked. This cop had reputation for being an ass. Flash forward a few years, I am in my twenties at a function in town and start talking to some friends who are police. This ass walks up, but looks like a whole different person, humble unsure of himself, not making eye contact. I find out that a few years earlier he pulled some young guys over who weren’t to thrilled at having him act like a badass, which he always did while berrating you. They grabbed him and stripped him naked, handcuffed him, and locked him in the back of his own squad car. They didn’t hurt him but they definetly scarred him for life. He was a broken man, a shell of the ass he once was. This woman is scarred for life and these cops are idiots.
    If that was my wife or daughter I’d probably be in jail right now.
    There are many good cops out there but the ratios are changing. Too many wimps want to carry guns and get back at the world so they become cops. They watch too many movies and tv shows and buy into this blue shirted brotherhood BS. Cops are morphing from public servants and friendly protectors to guys walking around looking at civilians as “them”, in an “us versus them” world.

  89. Missused

    I just need to say… this is news to me. This case. But what happened here. Happened to me as well…. That’s all.

  90. Infuriated

    This comment is mostly a message to John and to those who have taken the time to spread the truth about this horrific crime. Thank You for all the work you put into researching and exposing this story. I have spent the past few hours reading all the above posts (dating back to 2009) as well as following all the links and videos. Your inexhaustible rebuttals against the peccary shills and your relentless disdain for this outrageous tragedy has inspired me out of my complacency. It is now over a year from your last post and nearly three since this story broke, but I feel it is as important now, as ever before. I hope your still as recalcitrant and obstinate as you were last year. Best of Luck and Fortune to you patriot. It’s now time for me to get to work.

  91. Robert S

    You need to go back to middle school. Learn correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Next, you should take advantage of the public school system and their free extracurricular courses. I would suggest course 1521. In this course you will learn how not to act and speak like an ignorant piece of trash. This course would do wonders for you and I’m sure yo mamma will wish you luck. Shiiiit !!! P.S. You need to start using your fists because your words are just unbearable to read.


    Robert S.

  92. bella

    I only saw two female officers in the video and it looked like she would be to much for the females to handle by themslef,so I think it was necessary for the males to help if there was not enough female officers to help. I work at a hospital in the emergency room and when we have a violent female patient and not enough female nurse’s the male nurse’s and doctors help strip the females close off all the time.

  93. Jc

    You say strip searches happen to everyone that goes to jail? Really? Coz when I went to jail I wasn’t stripped.

    OH, and btw: You don’t give up civil rights when you go to jail(in this case it seems holding). At that point in time, it seems she had not been convicted of anything. She was to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Or shall we bring back the witch trials? Civil rights are human rights. You do give up Civil privileges until you go to jail and are convicted.

  94. oh_my_how_true

    I appreciate it; I just wish I KNEW ABOUT IT IN 2008! Wow, this is the first I have heard about it. I am very disturbed by this video~is this the beginning of the end of our Bill of Rights????

    ~*~*~*~*~* GOD HELP US ALL*~*~*~*~*

    That reminds me of a story I read a long time ago… Something about maybe Jewish people, were traveling and they would be stopped by strangers who would make them undress in front of whomever on the side of the road.. That story took place like a thousand years ago or something-WHAT HAPPENED TO WOMEN’S RIGHTS??? This goes to show how far behind we really are!!!!

  95. mcsam

    ” I only saw two female officers in the video and it looked like she would be to much for females to handle by themslef, so I think it was necessay for the males to help if there was not enough female officers to help.” You need to do some research, before you comment. There were 4 female deputies available to assit, but of course this disgusting display of depravity by these Deputies would not have been humilating enough for Mrs. Steffey without the males participating. Mrs. Steffey should have been in a hospital, not a jail cell being violated by these Deputies. Are you stating, that these Deputies were also impersonating people in the medical profession? Are you stating that the male Deputies had some kind of medical lisence, that we are not aware of? Are you stating that these Deputies were impersonating nurse’s or doctors?

    Mrs. Steffey was not a “violent female patient.” She was a victim of an assault. She was stripped, terrorized, humilaited, and left naked with a head injury for over 6 hours. Please do some research before you condone the actions, of these depraved Deputies and insult the medical profession!

  96. Ryan

    Are you kidding me with that crap?? That is so PATHETIC that you turned this IMMEDIATELY into a “Racial” issue!! What’s with the comments about “disadvantaged black males” and “they don’t have internets skillz to cry about it.” Whose fault is it that they are disadvantaged… It’s THEIR fault!! If they don’t have Internet “skillz”… again, that’s THEIR problem!! I think your little rant about Race was ridiculous. Apparently, you ARE one of those “disadvantaged” because it really shows! Race had absolutely NOTHING to due with this issue. From now on, keep those comments on the back burner until you run across a “true racial” issue. Also, try editing your comments BEFORE you post them. Make sure everything is spelled correctly.

  97. Ryan

    @Robert S… I have to say, this is excellent advice for this person! I actually suggested the same thing. LOL!! However, you said it better than I could!! I agree with you 100%!! He’s ignorant. Plain & Simple.

  98. John

    Well been a while since I checked this site.
    Glad to see people are still reading it and catching up to the REAL story behind this abuse.

    Like I have said before I would have to write a book to get all of this covered. Plus there are a couple of pieces of information that I have never posted.

    I have contacted Hope Steffey & told her what the deal was, and it has been taken care of for quite a while now.
    I have also talked to the sheriff’s dept about it, and I let them know in no uncertain terms what I thought of them.

    What happened was they sent an unedited copy to me, I suppose so that IT would end up somewhere on the internet.
    Yes, THAT video. I told Hope about it and she made calls to make sure they didn’t do it again.

    I told the sheriff’s dept & Hope that if their intent was to further embarrass, humiliate, & harass Hope that it was never going to work, because there is NO WAY I will ever post, send, or distribute that unedited video.

    But I wanted everyone on here to KNOW what kind of people helped cover this up…and then tried to screw her over even more!!!

  99. John

    @Missused I hope you had the courage to come forward like Hope Steffey.
    But seeing the way SOME people have commented, I can see why you wouldn’t.

    While doing research on this story I had found another woman that was abused by this Sheriff’s Dept.
    She was so emotionally scarred by this that she couldn’t bring herself to come forward with the other half dozen women that had came forward with claims of abuse.

    I hope you do better…

  100. De

    Froggy….the grandma with old time common sense. Dont be too sure your ass wont be in the air being strip searched alongside your grandson – people make mistakes and if they’re wearing a badge they get to cover over it. Many people get wrongfully arrested and accused and end up at the mercy of the law – you could simply be crossing an immigration border on holiday.

    I find your comments about it happens to black men all the time idiotic because part of the particularly offensive nature of this is that it happened to a woman – by men….this makes it abusive.

    I am a black woman and know that shit happens – people especially minorities and the volnurable in society often find themselves in vulnerable situations. All we can do is call out the offences when they happen – doesnt matter whether its happened to you or your grandson – have some empathy for another woman who is degraded in this way – dont be blinded by racism or any superiority complex. This is an offense against women and should never be tolerated…it could have been you.

    I dont know whatever monetary settlment she received – but the scars of the humiliation are for a lifetime. Maybe you can imagine a scenario where you deserve to be violated by a couple of men in badges – but dont inflict your ignorance on the rest of us who are trying to protect one another.

  101. John

    Would like to know WHY you would be forcing medical care on a “violent female” & forcibly stripping them.

    ANYONE should be able to refuse medical care, as far as I know.
    So what the heck is going on there!??!

  102. De

    I guess the truth may never be known – and perhaps Hope wants to, or perhaps after the settlement, has to kee silent on this. But since viewing the video I have always wondered if the male officers at the end were doing a cavity search afterall – I read that Steffy never claimed that they did. I feel sorry for women in the USA because apparently the Supreme Court has recently ruled that all arrests can be accompanied by a strip search no matter how minor the offence or allegeation.

    This incident with Steffy happened in 2006 and to my mind there has not been sufficient outrage from those who actually count – Law enforcement.

    Now the thing is that it seems women are in a position where they can be humiliated like this at the hands of the law. Some websites called it rape – I would certainly see it as sexual assault if a cavity search by male officers occured. This should be sufficiently offensive and alarming for charges against the officers involved.

    I dont even live in the USA but find this disturbing as a woman in society. With these loosely interpreted guidelines over strip search and scuicide watch – a woman has been violated in such a way – instead of a tightening of legislation – we now expand this to allow it for every arrest. Add to that the fact that we can cry “scuicide threat” and we have now allowed any women to be violated under the law – who walks the streets of America. I ask all who post responses that in any way justify these actions to reason what they are actually sanctioning for our future.

  103. John

    This is another of the things I haven’t posted about. Mainly because I didn’t ever get information confirmed.

    First what she claimed is that they didn’t penetrate her…and that’s it. NOT that they didn’t do a cavity check.

    But I got the impression that they DID DO something to her. Steffey told me she testified about what happened to the Grand Jury & to her lawyers.

    Most of the Grand Jury stuff is supposed to be sealed, but I have some of it, just not that part. I have been wanting to get the judge to release the information, but don’t have high hopes that will ever happen.

    I can speculate what happened, but I called the Stark County sheriff’s office and I couldn’t get anything to back up this speculation.
    According to them they didn’t even follow their own rules, and when the investigation was going on they never bothered to look into WHY their own rules were not followed!!

    I get the feeling that they lied to me again, but like I said I haven’t been able to get the proof I need…THIS TIME. But then I have caught just about all of them in a lie at one time or another, so don’t know what good it would do to catch them in one more.

  104. De

    John – I commend you for sticking with this case, I hope your efforts, and the efforts of others like you, will eventually have some positive effect on these outrageous practices against women.

    There is currently a case filed (1 Aug 2012) against Florida (Citrus County Government) re. a woman who was apparently strip searched by the roadside by 5 male officers and one female office. It’s called the Tarantino Tampon Lawsuit. It’s so appalling that I find it hard to believe. Nonetheless – it certainly makes you wonder how far this issue can go if procedures aren’t tightened up and sanctions put in place.

    [Ed. Note: The Tarantino tampon case is discussed here.]

  105. John

    Well since the Supreme Court ruling on the Albert Florence case, who was strip searched twice in seven days after he was arrested on a warrant for a traffic fine he had already paid, we will probably be seeing more of this crap.

    As for the tampon, that is what I suspected about the Hope Steffey case. That the guys were checking her for a tampon, and that’s why she is going ballistic at the end of the video. But like I said, even though their own jail rules say that a woman on her period can not be completely stripped, they deny that she was checked, even though it violates their own rules.

    BTW this isn’t the only incident of woman being strip searched by the side of the road. Arnetta McCloud, her then-15-year-old daughter, Cynthia were also strip searched by the side of the road.
    And then we have cases like Ms. (Ellin) Spellman & Maureen Rattray who were strip searched, but some how once lawsuits were started, the video’s came up “missing”. (Like a lot did in the Hope Steffey case!)

    Corrupt politicians are bad enough, but it looks like we have a corrupt majority on the Supreme Court now! The future looks bleak!

  106. Informer

    Folks, Please do not listen to this ridiculously stupid and ignorant asshole. They followed no proper procedure nor protocol. They violated a woman’s ( the victims) civil rights and all people involved should have been criminally charged to the fullest extent of the law, People, please read the bill of rights and understand that this should never have happened. Individuals like froggy are sick, inarticulate schmucks working on an agenda to make people confused and think that this treatment is an any way okay, is totally absurd and without merit. Personally, these are the same kind of cops that pistol whip people for looking at them the wrong way and the sheriff should be removed from his position, but I am sure that there are certain political who helped get him in that position and they are playing a game and will not own up to any wrong doing. The fact is they will still have to make it up do to karma and such. I work in state legislature and I have seen things allowed to happen and abuses within government organizations and agencies that are totally preposterous. All those dirty cops involved and the sheriff have theirs coming. The universe will make sure of it. Peace out all…..

  107. icicicles

    I’ve been arrested three times and have NEVER been striped searched.
    They’d ask me to empty my pockets and then they’d pat me down before putting me in the cell.
    Now had it been a cute female arresting officer I might have volunteered. : )

  108. Red Car

    I saw the original videos. It is clear to anyone watching the video that these cops were going to show Ms Steffey who is boss. Its called ‘getting over’ and cops do it all the time. It was abundantly c lear that while one male cop was hilding her legs apart, another was copping a feel while ‘removing’ her panties. You’d have to be blind to not see this. I don’t know how bad the arresting officer beat her, but witness accounts say it was pretty bad. I believe he bloodied he face. If that is so, then I would have caught him up and beat him with a nightstick until he couldn’t walk again, ever. As for the two guys who sexually assaulted her, they would be dead. End of story. Jail or not. Dead.

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