Just Another Guy with Opinions

State Charges Dropped in Hope Steffey Case

Posted by shadmia on June 20, 2008

According to a grand jury, Stark County deputies committed no criminal acts while arresting Hope Steffey two years ago. Nancy H. Rogers, Ohio attorney general, issued a statement saying that a Stark County grand jury did not hand down any indictments after reviewing the evidence presented by the state’s Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation Special Prosecution Sections.

The Steffey case was investigtated by Paul Scarsella, the Chief of the Special Prosecutions Section for the Attorney General’s Office where he manages 4 attorneys and support staff. He was assisted by Bridget Carty, Public Integrity Unit Coordinator, and an Assistant Attorney General in the Special Prosecutions Section.

The Special prosecutors, Paul Scarsella and Bridget Carty, said the incident, in which male and female deputies forcibly removed Steffey’s clothes at the Stark County jail, was a suicide precaution. They said the deputies were only following a medical order given by a doctor on duty to remove her clothes. Though the jail has suicide suits for inmates to wear, prosecutor Scarscella said Steffey was not immediately given one because even the suit was deemed too dangerous for her to have.

The Special prosecutors presented the results of their investigation to the grand jury without interviewing Hope Steffey. They said they were unwilling to interview her with her lawyers present, as she requested. Steffey did however appear before the grand jury. The grand jury declined to indict the deputies involved.

Steffey denied that she was suicidal or was given the opportunity to remove her clothes herself. There is no policy that prevents men from removing a female inmate’s clothes during a suicide precaution situation. Men are however prevented from strip-searching a female inmate.

However, the findings of this grand jury will have no bearing on the federal lawsuit that Hope Steffey filed on Oct. 2007, accusing Stark County deputies of violating her civil rights by assaulting, strip-searching and leaving her injured and naked for six hours in a Stark County jail cell. She had to use toilet paper to cover herself. Defendants in the case are Swanson, Deputy Sheriff Richard T. Gurlea Jr. and one to 15 other “John and Jane Does” employed at the Stark County Jail, and the Stark County commissioners. That case is scheduled to go to trial in December.

Below is the video (in 2 parts) which documents Hope’s experience at the hands of the Stark County Sheriff’s Dept. The video is graphic (you’ve been warned!!)

Whether or not the videotape was presented to the state grand jury will probably never be known, since the deliberations of grand juries are held in secret. But it is certain to be part of the civil case to be heard in federal court. Steffey’s attorneys are now under federal court order to not discuss the case. But they have argued that the force used by deputies, and seen on the videotape, was brutal and unnecessary.

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91 Responses to “State Charges Dropped in Hope Steffey Case”


    Let’s hope the federal civil rights lawsuit jury has more sense. It’s rare for a local grand jury to go against law enforcement, but it’s clear to the Bitter Hinterlands that the sheriff’s deputies get off on abusing women and girls.

  2. Tiger said

    Pretty obvious that the states attorney general was less than enthused about vigorously persueing this case against these officers. I have seen this before and in a grandjury only one side speaks and that is the prosecutor! Also theres a reason the sheriff of stark co chose to have the attorney generals office investigate because it’s that old buddy system. You have prosecutors that work with these cops and become friends so I am sure the evidence presented was very limited and one sided. This is exactly why prosecutors should not be allowed to investigate or prosecute cops because they work with them and have a freindship with them. It should be left up to a commission elected by the public to serve with full powers of arrest and prosecution of public officials. Theres been to much of this favortism towards cops breaking the law and prosecutors that work them and so they won’t inforce the law.

  3. John said

    Men can not be present in a strip search.

    Men can not be present in a body cavity search.

    Men are not even supposed to be where they can SEE women in showers.

    But after 2 years and NO mention of anything, just as the grand jury thing is going on, Swanson then comes out in a grandstand play and says that men are not only allowed to VIEW a forced stripping of a woman during a “suicide prevention”, they are actually allowed to PARTICIPATE!!!!! And with 8 people there, we had spectators too! (OMG!!! Why don’t they just sell tickets!??!?!)

    If the grand jury was told this same fairy tale and was instructed by the judge to allow for it, I can see why they might have found “no evidence”.

    And Swanson is stupid enough to think that this will resolve this!??!?!?!

    That people will NOW think that its “all ok” because Sheriff Swanson says its ok??!?!?!

    See this is where the logic & reasonableness of the deputies claim that they were just ‘doing their job, under doctors orders’ and trying to ‘save Steffy’s life’ starts to come apart.

    Then the ‘killer blow’ to their side of the story is what happens next…


    Their excuse? She was TOO suicidal for a suicide suit. For a garment DESIGNED for this situation?? TOO suicidal for even a paper covering?!?!?

    THIS is where this WHOLE story takes a turn!

    THIS is where we find out what is REALLY happening.

    This is where we finally realize that Steffy is being humiliated, embarrassed and punished under the “color of law”!!!

    • livinthedunes said

      Thank you – you said that brilliantly. I just keep thinking – this could happen to me or my sister – (or my mom, though this was a petite blonde thing so it would unlikely be her) I mean really, how many people does it take to remove a 120 pound woman’s clothing (and never mind that the woman is handcuffed and just been the victim of an assault). Shame on so many people. This is a HUGE injustice!

      • John454 said

        livinthedunes when I posted this I still hadn’t gotten all the evidence I had asked for under Ohio’s Sunshine Laws. And as a matter of fact I STILL haven’t gotten all the stuff I have asked for.

        As far as I’m concerned their refusal to release some evidence, and drag their feet on the rest is just another piece of evidence that they are criminals. Trying to cover up the evidence of their criminal actions.

        If you go almost to the end of this post you’ll see I did get a piece of evidence that shows that the sheriff LIED about the cops ever giving Steffey a chance to remove her own cloths. (Of course this was evident from the strip video, but now theres proof positive.)

        Also at the end of the strip video, when you hear the cops laughing, I also have the video of the hall outside Steffey’s cell…..where you can see them CONTINUE to laugh….its all up on YouTube

        This case continues to get worse & worse…..

  4. Bo said

    Wow, unbelieveable! All under the guise of “suicide prevention”. Steffy just got the “Rodney King” treatment… there was video evidence, yet it wasn’t enough. I’m surprised the video wasn’t used to charge her for refusing to comply (not being sarcastic here).

    I’ll be sure never to step foot in Stark County, since I have no faith in their judicial system. I truly believe that LAPD is now one of the better run police departments, large or small. Bratton has done a fine job and the department has civilian oversight. Hopefully, Stark County will get better. It took Los Angeles many negative police incidents and several new Chiefs, but I believe the worst is behind us. Recently, the police here seem much more unbiased. I actually have faith LAPD will do the right thing when push comes to shove. The latest news I heard is that certain officers are being disciplined for their excessive force during last year’s May Day incident. It took decades, but no department is under more scrutiny than LAPD… and they’re better for it.

    Good luck you poor Stark County residents, I don’t envy you. If and when I have to call 911, I’ll have faith in my police dept.

  5. John said

    Bo QUOTE”I’m surprised the video wasn’t used to charge her for refusing to comply (not being sarcastic here).”

    Ok heres the story on that. The grand jury was never shown all the video. The sheriff is claiming that the camera wasn’t working.

    Even though the BUILDING video CLEARLY shows the camera taping as Steffy is lead down the hall with what seems to be the whole night shift, EIGHT people, (heres links…count them.)
    See the camera on?

    So the sheriff wants everyone to believe that the camera in the video isn’t working?
    BUT the camera STARTED working again, JUST as they have Steffy forced down on the bunk and start stripping her.

    I’m left wondering how stupid Sheriff Swanson thinks we are, and wondering how stupid HE is, thinking that any rational person would buy this fairy tale of his.
    I wonder how long its been since hes had a mental evaluation???

    PS Also the Sheriff’s dept kept information from the grand jury investigators, besides this.

  6. Here i am serving in afghanistan and the very few newscasts i see is this torture.I am outraged beyond words that it
    happened and they are free to do it again.I am convinced they knew what they were going to do to her before they took her into the building.Research shows when arriving to the station the deputy went inside and left her in the car.That was when they set her up.what did they not want her to hear?The camcorder and number of participants says
    they enjoyed it.Stripping a person for humiliation is against international law as torture.The sherriff is a disgrace to america!

  7. Bo said

    I just watched the video again, this time all the way to the end, and now I’m sick to my stomach. I won’t be able to sleep tonight. Hope Steffy’s screams are bounching around in my brain. I can hear her pain, she had no idea why they were doing this to her. Just from the tone of her voice, I can tell there was no explanation of why they were doing this. There was no explanation that this was part of their “suicide prevention policy”. She wasn’t screaming “this isn’t right!”, her words “what are you doing?!” speaks volumes to me. And to think that this has happened to others at the hands of the same perps. Sickening!

  8. Bill said

    Such a one sided report by a so-called news organization. Looks like a small-time 60 Minutes. I watched the whole video but I didn’t see anything about a strip search or cavity search. This was none of these. It was clothing removal like they do with male prisoners for various reasons.

  9. John J. said

    This is a real shame, what kind of a world do we live in where we men allow women to be treated in this way. I hate to sound sexist but we men need to stand up and stop this kind of behavior and protect the women of the world, even those who do not want it.

  10. Citizen said

    Hello Sherrif,

    I am not going to start this mail with pleasantries because I believe that will be a waste of my time. I recently came to know about the case of Hope Steffey. I was aghast to know how your deputies behaved with that woman. What surprises me even more is that you are shielding them instead of punishing them. You are claiming that “they followed the book”. Could you be kind enough to tell me which book says that male deputies can strip search a woman? What your deputies did was much worse than just strip search. They violated her modesty and used excessive force against her. You also denied that your deputies stripped Ms Steffey. Would you also say that the gruesome video of Ms Steffey circling around the internet is a fraud?

    The behavior of your department has been extremely corrupt and repulsive. I can’t stop wondering while watching the video -“Is this America or Iraq?”. You and your department have brought shame not only to Stark county or Ohio but to the entire country. If you have any decency left, you should resign from your post after firing all the deputies involved and filing criminal cases against them, instead of posing with false pride on the website of the county sheriff website.

    -A concerned citizen.

  11. Charlotte said

    How on earth can they deem a suicide suit too dangerous for a suicidal person to wear? I’m sorry, but that makes no sense to me at all.

  12. Jimakinz said

    THE SYSTEM IS A FAILURE! Our rights don’t mean crap in todays world. I pray each cop gets fired and thrown in prison! I think that everyone who sees this video clip should write the sheriff’s office and tell them how much you respected them.HA HA Thanks for serving and protecting the little people you walk on.We PAY THEM TO WORK FOR US????? why?????
    To the cops that will be reading this, if you did this to my wife. I Would send you to the MA$TER JUDGE. There is somethings you just don’t do. Another mans wife is off fucking limits, YOU DON’T TOUCH! Now if it was just women, that would be different.

  13. Sam said

    I feel very sorry for Hope Steffy. I can’t imagine being a victim treated like a criminal. If a doctor had given an order to have her clothes removed, I don’t understand why a dcotor and nurse didn’t do the removal of clothing. And if the excuse is that Hope was to frantic, they coculd have just given her an injection of some kind of tranquilizer. There was absolutely no need to violently remove her clothes.

    Has the federal suit even got underway? I hope they find the county at fault with a huge punitive fine, and the officers involved sent to jail with huge fines of their own.

  14. Muso said

    Why has no one brought this to the attention of the United Nations as a blatant abuse of human rights??

  15. rcroftensen said

    These Cops Are Sexual Preditors.

  16. LT said

    It is up to the people in that town to have that man removed from his position. Where is the citizenry of that community? There was a time in our history when he would have been greeted by a lynch mob. This is outrageous!!! How would this public “servant” feel if this had been done to HIS wife or daughter. The only thing missing from the video was the red armbands and the swastika. Frightening.

  17. David said

    I thought that I had read somewhere that a pattern of strip searching women had been discovered in Stark county? If true, I hope that her attorney(s) will present that evidence as part of the case. If you are a female victim of an unwarranted (and violent) strip search conducted in Stark county, you need to seek out Hope’s attorney or bring your own charges.

    In response to Muso (#14):
    You really need to learn more about the UN… I’m not sure it’s appropriate to use the words “human rights” and “United Nations” in the same sentence…

  18. cbmtrx said

    The video doesn’t lie. Period.

    If the federal case does not succeed in bringing convictions, then something is clearly wrong with our system.

    This reminds me of the case of Alexandra Svoboda at a protest march in North Providence, RI, in which her leg was broken by the actions of a police officer. The police refused to provide aid and instead held her down and cuffed her. The pictures are graphic:

    I remember a similar incident somewhere in Florida a couple of years ago, where a peaceful protester was injured with a policeman’s rubber bullet–for having done nothing but march in a protest.

    It does indeed seem to me that if humans can’t properly manage their own aggressive tendencies in the enforcement of the law, then a different system of law enforcement is needed.

  19. David of VA said

    I wonder if Hope Steffey had been Black if the national media would have picked up the story. It is sad that the local networks could not get this story on a national level. I am suprised Obama being from a close state, that he has not picked up her cause. I guess it just goes to show us that Color DOES matter and she was the wrong one!

  20. John said

    Sept 28th

    The CantonRep has released the whole video, what they claim to have of it anyway.

    Heres the CantonRep article “What Happened to Hope Steffey” (they even spell her name wrong, its Steffy)

    Read all the comments at the end of the article, you can tell its all slanted against Steffy. But the commenter’s catch it.

    • John said

      No her name is NOT Steffy, it’s spelled Steffey…so HOW did I get the idea it was spelled the other way?

      Mainly because the arresting officer had it wrong, the sheriff had it wrong, and the courts had it wrong…I had this crazy idea that the arresting officer should know WHO he arrested, and that Swanson should KNOW who was abused at his jail, and that the court records should be right…but apparently all of them (and me) were wrong.

  21. John said

    This will NEVER see the inside of a court room.

    I just don’t think the authorities can afford that.

    I also think thats why they went to the trouble to “enhance” that ‘video’ tape of Steffy saying she was suicidal. The “now or ever” answer wasn’t looking too good for the authorities. So I think they took a few seconds out of this video, out of context. And I think they KNEW she was being sarcastic with them, but they needed something to keep a settlement down.

    Because the “now or ever” answer was brought up at Steffy’s trial, and it was NEVER denied then, and no mention was made of this tape.

    After the elections they will be throwing some numbers at them.

    It will be settled just like the three teens settlement, quietly, quickly, and forgotten.

    Then we can wait for the next case to come up and taxpayers will take another hit.

  22. wrlord said

    Do a little homework, people. See

    • John said

      Wrlord, even the person that posted that video said that it was edited.
      But since that time I have gotten ALL that recording.
      They actually edited out very little of this recording.
      Do you want to guess what was edited out of this??

      Just the part where she says she can PROVE she did nothing wrong. (There’s a surprise huh?)

      And just as I predicted this never went to a trial.

      BTW QUOTE “According to a grand jury, Stark County deputies committed no criminal acts”
      This actually should read; “the Grand Jury was not given enough evidence to find the deputies “criminally culpable””.
      That would be more accurate. Not that the evidence wasn’t there, but it was pretty much ignored, even when brought to their attention.

  23. Irene said

    I think that she WAS strip searched and even worse, at the end, before the two cops leave the cell. You noticed the two policemen , one with the gloves? It was fogged on the video, but it is just the two of them and Hope in the middle, completely naked, you can see the one on the right is doing cavity search, and the female officer calling them from outside the cell, imo. It is plain and simple, no doubt a sexual assault, and it is not far from rape regarding the cavity search. And then, they just laughed.

  24. John said

    Wrlord I have done a LOT of homework on this. BTW I did find that the sheriff & courts didn’t even know who they arrested & prosecuted. They are the ones that had her name wrong! Her name IS spelled Steffey, the sheriff & courts had it spelled wrong and had her birth date wrong too.

    And I have already seen that Utube video. It was put up by someone that works at the sheriff’s dept. Its BS.

    This whole thing has been one big cover up. The grand jury “investigation” was a joke, I have talked to both investigators, and the guy in charge. The sheriff’s dept withheld information from the grand jury investigators.

    The sheriff has “manufactured evidence” that is laughable.

    The BS just goes on & on…..

  25. Mike said

    First off all I dont live in US.

    What you Yanks should realise is that you live in police state. Police have all the rights you have none… at least if you have no money… So much for the land of the free eh?

  26. R.D. said

    Wrlord, I too have seen that video and am not impressed by it in the least. For one thing, do you notice how there NO comments on that video? Meanwhile, just about every video posted to YouTube has comments, and there are literally HUNDREDS of comments on each video posting of Hope Steffey being stripped. It seems that the person who uploaded the “Hope Steffy a victim? I think not” video is a little too afraid to let anyone have freedom of speech. If that’s not a sign to you that you are dealing with fascists here, I don’t know what is. Secondly, I think we can all understand that Hope’s husband is a little ticked off that his wife is calling him in the middle of the night from JAIL. Who wouldn’t be? It also sounds like the Steffeys may have been having some marital problems, but so what? That’s between the two of them. Now that Mr. Steffey knows what exactly went on that night, you do not hear him blaming his wife, do you? No, he is speaking out about how wrong it was for the police to do this to a fellow human being. In any case, however, Mr. Steffey’s reaction to getting a jail phone call from his wife doesn’t justify the way the police treated Hope. Nothing does.

    Most of us are not naive enough to believe that Hope is some kind of completely innocent angel in all of this. In all likelihood, she was probably very annoying towards the police officer who arrested her and it definitely wasn’t smart for her to be so sarcastic with the nurse (yes, I have also done enough research to have heard Hope say exactly what she said to the nurse, and not coincidentally, it was posted on YouTube by the exact same person who posted the video YOU linked to because they are trying to make Hope look as bad as possible), but it’s very clear that these police officers wanted to torture this woman, probably in a sick attempt to teach her a lesson about not daring to “disrespect” them ever again, and no matter how troublesome she was or may have been, the officers did NOT have the right to abuse her the way they did.

    Granted, not everything claimed in this case has been proven (yet), but just the stuff I know for SURE is very, very wrong:

    #1. Men should never have been allowed in that cell, let alone allowed to participate in the violent forced stripping of every last piece of this woman’s clothes. I was especially disgusted when I saw that one of the MEN took off her underwear. NO MAN SHOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO TOUCH AN UNWILLING, DEFENCELESS WOMAN’S PANTIES! This is NOT debatable!

    #2. There was absolutely NO need for at least half a dozen people (both men and women) to be in that cell. After all, it was supposed to be a “suicide precaution measure,” NOT a ringside circus! I guess everyone just wanted in on the action, but really, about half of them had no business being there. The strip should have been performed as privately as possible, if in fact it had to be performed at all.

    #3. There were enough female police officers there to do the job, so why did they involve men in a situation where men clearly did not belong? If at least TWO female police officers can’t handle a woman who already has her hands cuffed behind her back, they’re a bunch of wusses who shouldn’t be on the force in the first place. As it is, they should be kicked off the force because they’re apparently a bunch of sadistic bitches, and it is very dangerous to have such people in positions of power. Honestly, what kind of woman could allow (and HELP) this to happen to another woman?! Also, at the end of the video, when they are locking Hope’s cell door, I very clearly heard one of them LAUGHING. Sadism, sadism, SADISM!

    #4. One of the male police officers is holding Hope’s arms behind her back in submission holds even though her hands are already CUFFED behind her back. He is very rough with her and I’m amazed he didn’t break her arms. Hope is crying and repeatedly saying the word, “Ow” (including “Ow, ow, my ARM!”). She is physically in pain and this is being completely ignored. What right did they have to physically harm a woman who is already kneeling/lying down with her hands cuffed behind her back?! What right do they have to ignore medical needs of a prisoner in their custody? NONE! All of this was done under the pretense of her own protection, but here they are inflicting psychological and physical harm on her!

    #5. The MALE police officers twist and manipulate Hope’s bare legs because they “have to change the mat.” Why exactly did they HAVE to change the mat and why did it take them so long to do it? To torture Hope as much as possible, that’s why! They could have let her stand up and step back while they changed the mat, but this is not what they did. They obviously wanted to do it the most violent, painful way possible, and again, I’m asking why did they have to change the mat in the first place? Was it really all that dirty?

    #6. There is a moment when the camera swings away from view of Hope and the officers do something to her that causes her to release a blood-curdling, animalistic scream. What exactly did they not want us to see? Should the camera not have remained on her at ALL times?

    #7. In the video, it is very obvious that Hope does NOT understand why all this is being done to her. I understand that they had to take her sarcastic words to the nurse literally (otherwise they could have been up on charges if she did harm herself while in their custody), but all the while she is being stripped, she is screaming “What are you doing?” and “What are you doing this for?” She at least had the right to know WHY they were doing what they did. To ignore these fair questions is only another means of torturing her.

    #8. You do NOT leave someone stark naked for six hours in a COLD jail cell. Their excuse for not giving her a suicide suit (because she was deemed “too suicidal” to be allowed to have it) is purely BS. These suits are DESIGNED for such a situation. Period. They just wanted an excuse to keep her completely naked to prolong the humiliation and suffering as long as possible. Depriving a person of clothing IS a form of torture, both physical (cold) and psychological (powerlessness and embarassment).

    #9. If it was true that Hope was at a risk of harming herself, she should have been sent to a mental health facility, not forcibly stripped naked at the local jail and restrained (both in handcuffs and painful submission holds) while a bunch of men and women basically did whatever they wanted to her. Traumatizing a defenceless woman to this degree is sure to cause a lot more psychological damage than she may already have had to begin with.

    So, yes, in answer to the question posed by the video you linked to, Hope Steffey clearly IS a victim! The entire situation reeks of abuse and police brutality.

  27. John said

    QUOTE “#6. There is a moment when the camera swings away from view of Hope and the officers do something to her that causes her to release a blood-curdling, animalistic scream. What exactly did they not want us to see? Should the camera not have remained on her at ALL times?”

    Yes the camera is SUPPOSED to be on the prisoner at ALL times. On YouTube with similar videos, the only time the camera is moved is when the cops are doing stuff they could get in trouble for.

    Steffey testified at her trial that the cops tore her ears when they removed her earrings. Could this have been that moment? Who knows…with the camera swinging away.

    Also if her earrings are removed, do they check for other ‘body piercings’? Do they check her for a tampon?

    When the camera comes back on her, they have her crossed legs forced up against her butt, so WHY would they do that?

    Try asking the sheriff’s dept and see what answers you can get.

    (330) 430-3800
    Electronic mail
    General Information:

    BTW You can forget about the Email address, if you want a reply. I don’t know of anyone that has gotten one from them.

  28. John said

    Oh I probably should mention that the Sheriff’s dept conspired to keep information away from the grand jury investigators.

    And I should probably mention that the sheriff’s dept also said at the beginning of May that the “missing” video would be released to Steffey’s lawyers. This is the video, that during the grand jury investigation, they claimed DIDN’T EXIST!
    I guess everyone at the dept didn’t know at that time its existence would later be denied….OOPS!

    The ‘missing’ video is where Steffey claimed the cops attacked her and shoved her face in the floor.
    The sheriff denies this happened.
    But then the nurse admits that Steffey was later treated for a bruised nose.
    (She also told her husband in the recorded phone call that she thought the police had broken her nose.)

    Conflicting testimony and then the >FACT< of Steffey’s injuries.

    The ‘missing’ video is also where she claims she was NEVER asked to remove her cloths.
    A MONTHS long investigation by the BCI NEVER finds the person that says Steffey refused!!!
    Please read the above line again, they NEVER find who stated that?? One of the main points of the whole mess? After MONTHS?!?!?

    I also talked to the investigators:
    QUES Did you interview any of the other women claiming abuses, to establish a pattern of abuse?
    ANS No
    QUES I asked the investigators if they polygraphed anyone.
    ANS Why would we do that, its not admissible in court.
    REPLY I KNOW its not admissible in court, its to verify testimony, and find out the TRUTH.
    ANS No, no polygraphs.

    See he’s trying to make it seem like its a waste of time, but go to their website and they have a whole polygraph division!!
    This is exactly the kind of BS I have run into talking with these people, time after time.

    QUOTE “The entire situation reeks of abuse and police brutality.”

    RC, you don’t know the half of it…I wish I had taped my phone conversations with some of the people I called about this….unfrickenbelievable!

  29. R.D. said

    John, I’m so glad that YOU replied to my post, because I have seen your posts on other boards, and you are a hero to me. It’s always nice to see that at least someone out there still cares about what’s happening to other people. I’m not actually in the United States, otherwise I would love to be calling those numbers, but I follow this case as closely as I can and read all that is available to me on it, and sadly, your conversations with these people don’t surprise me. What happened to this woman is quite obviously a human rights violation and the authorities know that. Perhaps they never expected this case to go public (because it seems that the sheriff has a history of treating female prisoners this way and getting away with it every time), but now that it’s reached other people’s attention, the sheriff and his gang of thugs are trying to cover their asses in any way they can. I feel sorry for anyone gullible enough to believe anything the sheriff says on this matter and can’t see that this is a cover-up.

    However, the fact that this case has gone public also means that the outcome of the trial will have a profound effect on what sort of country the United States ultimately becomes–whether it is a country where this sort of treatment towards a prisoner will not tolerated and where there will be consequences for the rapists; or a country where these despicable acts not only happen in secret (as they apparently do, unfortunately) but are OPENLY ACCEPTED AS LAWFUL. The latter possibility terrifies me.

    I had heard that the federal trial was supposed to happen this month, but I can’t find anything on it. Do you know whether or not the trial has already happened or if it is going to be postponed, or what? I will check back here for a response and hope to hear from you soon. God bless.

  30. John said

    QUOTE “I had heard that the federal trial was supposed to happen this month, but I can’t find anything on it. Do you know whether or not the trial has already happened or if it is going to be postponed, or what?”

    The “trial” has been put off a couple times. It is now set for May, but trust me, this case will NEVER go to trial.
    None of the authorities can afford for this case to actually get to trial.

    EVERYONE would then KNOW this was all a BS arrest and ‘suicide prevention’.

    Theres just TOO many conflicting versions, TOO much evidence “missing”, a MONTHS long “investigation” that leaves too many questions, and too many illogical explanations for everything that was done.

    They are probably throwing numbers around right now. You can expect this case to be settled like the three teen girls that were strip searched on a jail “tour”, quietly and with a big chunk of taxpayer money.

    Steffey is also suing to change policy, and according to the Bureau of Adult Detention, it is in the process of being changed now. But since its actually law, it will take legislators about a year to get it changed.

    I have a problem with a lot of stuff that is now claimed as ‘lawful’, or should I say ‘unlawful’. We have the highest incarceration rate in the world. And more & more stuff is being considered as illegal.
    Look at smoking, police ‘safety’ checkpoints, seatbelts, child safety seats, and on and on. Its seems the government won’t be satisfied until they are telling you how much toilet paper to use in the bathroom.

    Scares me.

  31. R.D. said

    Hi again, John, and thank you for your response. Unfortunately, you are probably correct in saying that this will never go to trial because we live in a world where if you throw enough money at a problem like this, it will go away (and quietly). After all the medical and legal expenses this badly traumatized and injured woman has had to pay out, I wouldn’t blame her if she settles out of court–unless she’s particularly wealthy, I would think that this entire mess has left her in a very bad financial state and she probably needs to get reimbursement as quickly as possible. It’s just a shame because if this did go to trial, with ALL of the available evidence provided for the jury, I don’t see how she would lose, and this rotten sheriff and his team of rapists would finally have to answer for their crimes. If it’s settled out of court, Swanson and his gang can go on pretending to have done the right thing, hold their heads up high in public, and probably continue doing this to even more women. Quite frankly, they all make me sick, especially the sadistic bitch female officers who could do this to another woman and then laugh about it. Shame on them all. Regardless of the outcome, I hope the public never forgives any of them.

    Oh, and merry Christmas to you. 🙂 I’ll keep checking for updates on this case.

  32. John said


    I just found out the counties insurance company is now in negotiations with Steffey’s lawyers.

    Like I said this will NEVER make it to a trial. GUARANTEED!

    As I said before, theres just TOO many conflicting versions, TOO much evidence “missing”, a MONTHS long “investigation” that leaves too many questions, and too many illogical explanations for everything that was done.

    Instead they will pay out a big hunk of cash and hope it goes away quietly, but as you say, if that happens I would suspect the sheriff’s gang to go back to their old ways.
    Plus they will try BSing the taxpayers that the payment was out of the insurance and not their pockets, but then the taxpayers PAY for the increased insurance rates.

    BTW the criminal investigation, by sheriff Swanson, into the three teens that were UNLAWFULLY strip searched, was turned over to the Stark County prosecutor, and they filed no criminal actions.

    WOW, theres a surprise huh? (sarcasm)

    PS Beside the five women that have come forward publicly to claim similar abuses at Stark County, I have also run across another while posting on the net.
    She told me that it was too traumatic to go through to file a complaint, and that she just wanted to forget it happened.
    I told her if she forgot about it, that the abuses will never be stopped, and that if ever there was a time to come forward, now would be the time.

    Makes me wonder just how many other women have been put through this hell.

  33. Beware said

    Bottom line – we live in a POLICE STATE. Most cops are lazy cowards. They’d rather bust a person who drank three beers, or treat an innocent person like Hope Steffey in this manner, as opposed to busting jerks for selling heroin to middle schoolers. Too many skinhead king-shit cops on the street. Then you have a grand jury composed of dumbed-down liberals to make sure that the gov’t wins every time.

  34. John said

    Well Beware, I have to be careful what I say about cops in general. I have relation that are cops and I have sheriff’s deputies that I have worked with for years, plus I know and have friends that are prison guards.

    And this is another reason I’m so PO’d about this.

    Abuse like this reflects badly on ALL cops and puts everyone at more risk, since they claim the deputies have gotten death threats about this case.
    So will deputies be safer when they go to someone’s house after the people have seen what happens to crime VICTIMS?
    When deputies have to investigate crimes, will people be more willing to help after seeing this? Probably not, so the streets wouldn’t be safer either for ANYONE.

    And since this has been on national news, it not only makes THESE local police less safe, it also puts MY friends & relation at more risk!

    AS RD said ” Most of us are not naive enough to believe that Hope is some kind of completely innocent angel in all of this.”

    And I understand sometimes things happen, but THIS Steffey case is complete BS!

    But on the flip side, I have a friend that is a prison guard.

    He was attacked by a prisoner.

    After the prisoner was cuffed & shackled, he was moved to a new location. As fate would have it, his leg chains got tangled somehow at the top of the stairs…he didn’t grab the rail, because his hands were cuffed, and no guards were close enough to catch him…OOPS!

    I don’t have a problem with this.

    This was an already convicted felon, the attack was documented, and my friend was sure of the attacker’s identity.
    Plus this wasn’t just a case of revenge, but a case of safety for every guard in there. These felons aren’t afraid of more time, so an attack has to be responded to quickly to show that no guard can be attacked without a consequence.
    Its the only way to make it safe, and I understand the need.

    So Swanson’s comment that citizens don’t understand is bs, especially since correctional experts across the whole country have condemned this.

    Anyway, just wanted to point out that not ALL cops are like this.

  35. Hate this said

    I was a victim of molestation from a police officer and it is one of the most scariest things that someone can go through. In my case, the cop said that he “smelled weed” on me. He then slammed me up against a wall and tried to search me. He put his hand up UNDER my shirt and under bra. I kept telling him that I wanted a female cop and that guys can’t search females like that. He told me to shut the fuck up and that he could do whatever he wanted. The only thing that saved me from him sticking his hands down my pants was my friend seeing what happened and running with her phone trying to get video. As soon as the cop saw her with her phone taking video, he stopped. I was then detained 2 hours even though when the female cop got there and she searched me, I had no marijuana on me.

    Anyways, back to the Steffey case. This brings back so many memories for me. Just like in this case, when I tried to report the cops, they brushed it under the rug. It is scary to know that these people who are supposed to be there to protect us. No matter what any female did, you do not do these things! I hope that these cops pay. And yes, they bring a bad name to cops because between the cop that did that to me and seeing all these things happening to these women and TEENAGE GIRLS, it makes me hate and distrust cops. I try to avoid them at all cost and that is sad because recently I was robbed from a friend and I was terrified to go to the police to file a report. I refused to allow them in my house and I went up with my boyfriend and had him sit there the whole time so I could get through it. By the end of it, I felt like I was having a panic attack and when I got in the car, I had to put my head in between my legs and breath because I was freaking out. My boyfriend knows the story about what happened to me, but he has never seen me like that. It scared him so bad he almost started crying because he told me that he could feel my pain radiating off of me.

    These cops do not realize the emotional damage that they have done to people. It is like being raped. I hope that these people pay and it disgust me to no end how these women allowed these men to be present. If I was a female cop, I would have been like “Ummm, you need to leave now so I can search her.” For them to allow these male cops to do this, allow them to take off her panties instead of one of the female cops, and then laughing about it when they closed the door makes me sick to my stomach. I just hope that all of these people get their just desserts.

  36. John said

    Sorry to hear what happened to you Hate This. I hope you got a lawyer and sued, its the ONLY way to get this crap stopped.

    The sheriff has been able to stop anything that makes them look bad and yet get out anything that they want to show.

    As an update to this story, as you may or may not know the sheriff is using a HIGHLY edited video, with only audio, to convince people that Steffey admitted to being suicidal.

    The only problem is that she is CLEARLY being sarcastic, NOT suicidal.

    I have called and asked for the full unedited video, so that I can “enhance” the whole thing, but NOW the sheriff’s dept claims its medical information and can’t be released.

    WTF?? They have ALREADY released THEIR version of it!! What a load of BS!

  37. John said

    BTW Hate This, in my searches around the net I have actually found that some women are as bad as the males at taking advantage of a female. A lot of times it seems that they even do it for their male police “buddies”. Either by stripping them in a area where a door is open, or by stripping them where there is a video camera and the males are watching the monitors.
    I saw a recent one on the east coast with just this scenario. Stacey Hartline was her name.

    QUOTE Appeals Court Strip Search Violated NY Woman’s Rights
    Court reinstates claim by NY woman who says strip search was broadcast to male officers”

    The appeals court said the arresting officer did not have enough evidence to perform an arrest, much less allow Hartline to be strip searched, since no useable narcotics were found in her vehicle and he saw nothing suspicious in Hartline’s actions.

    And there are a lot more examples like this one. Some are pretty unbelievable.

    Try strip searching a couple 2nd graders for a missing $7……TWICE!

    And some 7th grade girls too:

    How about Mary Novak, a 82 yr old woman that was charged with playing music too loud? She was taken to jail & strip searched.

    Search for “Gail Lynn Simpson”, she was strip searched five times, the last time they took pictures of her breasts, because they were pierced.

    How about this one: Two British girls were sent to an orphanage for 30 hours and strip searched after their mother became ill during a holiday in the US.
    “Gemma Bray, 15, and her 13-year-old sister Katie also had their clothes taken off them and were asked if they had been abused or were suicidal. ”

    Search for Marci Ladakakos, a Maine woman, sheriff claims she was suicidal….sound familiar?

    How about Tracy Curry? She consented to an X ray because the cops said she had drugs. The xrays showed NOTHING, but they forced her to submit to a body cavity search anyway!

    A rural southeastern Missouri school district has conceded 10 teen-age girls were strip-searched during class and has apologized for accusing them of lying…TICLE_ID=34318

    And this: A family stopped in the middle of the night. And the wife & daughter strip searched by the roadside.

    “After deliberating more than 20 hours over the course of three days, jurors found that the deputies illegally detained and searched Arnetta McCloud, her then-15-year-old daughter, Cynthia, and a cousin, Marcus Frazier, in a midnight traffic stop and drug investigation that stretched for more than four hours in July, 2001.”…ripSearch.html

    This is just the tip of the iceburg I have found while searching on the net for information.

    I don’t think people have ANY idea just how bad it is REALLY getting!

    This is why I contacted my Reps to try to get a law stopping this abuse.

  38. lerinne said

    I have a feeling that “suicidal” is now a scapegoat. I believe it is time to look at the laws we have and possibly reedit some things. Who decided she was suicidal? There’s all this footage of something happening to her (by a cop) before she ever even got to the police station. If there is no history of suicide attempts, what can suggest that one is suicidal? Does it take the word of a “doctor” that happens to be there. If this person is distraught and disorderly, does that mean they are suicidal? I think a law that recieves federal punishment if broken needs to be enforced if some titty-happy cop is too quick to sing suicidal. Just so they think twice about it. This definitely goes back to womans rights. I mean she wasnt arrested for murder, she was taken in on disorderly conduct. Thats a slap on the wrist crime. Why would that make someone want to kill themselves? A very strong reason needs to stand if a woman is to be subjected to a strip search. note: a DUI is not a strong reason. Right now the excuse seems to be “they were suicidal.” Its time for a closer look at our laws and the procedures that precede a justified strip search. This seems more like legalized molestation.

  39. John said

    Lerinne In Steffey’s case they said a doctor decided. What they don’t tell you is that a doctor wasn’t even there, they called him on the phone. He then claims he reached an “independent” decision, based on the reports they gave him! Incredible huh?

    In the other lawsuit the women turned her self in on a home schooling issue, only to be arrested and held for THREE DAYS! She was told she was suicidal and had to wear a paper gown for THREE DAYS. The judge dismissed the case immediately and she was released. She should have been given a court date and released right away, then the sheriff has the guts to say they need more money & people. No kidding if you are putting EVERY person in jail for every lil BS charge. And now they have a lawsuit for this too.

    The three teen girls that were strip searched have already settled their lawsuit. NO CHARGES were filed against anyone, but they paid out $300,000.

    I have contacted ALL my Reps about this problem, they shrug it off as a “hot potato” subject. I plan to contact them all again soon. This is BS.

  40. Jetta said


    THANK YOU for following these issues, providing us with this information and doing what you can to get this stopped. If you hadn’t posted some of these stories, I and many others would never have known about them.

    Can you give some information on how to help get this stopped? How can I help? These cases have made me ill, infuriated and ashamed of our system here in America. If I were a loaded with money, I’d make a documentary on these cases to raise awareness, and hold rallies to march against this horrific treatment of human beings. Unfortunately I am just a person trying to make ends meet like so many others these days.

    Please let me know how I can help. I am sure that there are many others who would like to help as well. I’ll keep checking for updates.

    Thank you again for all that you have exposed.


  41. John said

    UPDATE The Steffey ‘trial’ has been set to July now. Apparently they can’t get close on the number to settle on.

    Jetta all I have done is contact people. Either my Reps or people that have been involved in this mess. The sheriff’s dept is pretty much a dead end, except for their human resources person.

    And the FBI gave me some good advice for finding information. The state people have no idea what is going on, unless they were directly investigating this case. And the ones directly investigating gave me this response: “not every action rises to the level of criminal culpability”.

    As for what can be done, I’m not sure.
    As I said I expect this case to never make it to a trial. It will be settled and probably with a non disclosure added into it, so nothing will ever come out about what really was happening.

    The sheriff had said that he wouldn’t comment until the grand jury investigation, and that “then the facts would come out”. Except that everything given to a grand jury is never supposed to be disclosed.

    And now he’s saying that he won’t comment because of the lawsuit and that “then the facts will come out”, even though he KNOWS it will be settled and never go to a trial, so nothing will ever come out.

    Its aggravating, I wish I knew how to fix this.

    Also the deputies are trying to sue the local TV station for “making them look bad”.

    I have to wonder if they are going to go after the national stations too. They looked bad on them also. I guess they don’t yet realize the station didn’t make them look bad….their own actions did!

  42. John said

    The deputies on national news:

  43. cece said

    John… I first read about this last night on dailykos and saw one of the videos and can not stand to see anymore.

    Thank you for being on this issue for a while now.

    Because I really can’t handle watching the videos anymore, could you please elucidate on what Hope said to the nurse in sarcasem?

    This is just a curiosity on my part…. frankly, whatever she did could not have justified this treatement… I am astounded.

    And I haven’t even read about the 3 teenagers yet.

    You said this got national attention… from whom? Has Oprah profiled this yet… this is obviously such a HUGE issue that must be occurring much more than we know… wtf… a mother and a daugher strip searched on the side of the road?

    If these incidents are being reported you know they are just the tip of the iceberg…

    This needs to be a huge issue, with Federal legislation passed to protect women and men (I’m sure it happens to them as well) from sexual predators with a badge. Sick bastards.

    This thing has opened up a whole can of worms with me and I can’t get it off my mind…

    A couple of years ago in the town I live in a bartender was arrested for serving an underage customer (even tho the carding was supposed to be handled by the bouncer at the door, btw). She was also strip searched. But she sued and supposedly laws have been changed… but now I’m going to follow up on it and see what’s really going on. I strongly suspect that poor women and women who deal with substance abuse issues probably have this done to them routinely.

    Thanks again for your work… is there some sort of organized protest or some way we can raise the visibility of these travesties?

  44. Clara said

    John, just to say, thanks for taking the time to look into this so thoroughly and make your findings known.

    The only thing I can say at all in the defence of the police in this situation is that I wouldn’t judge them too quickly for laughing when they left the room. Laughing can be a way of coping with a distressing situation and does not necessarily imply enjoyment. They could well have found it amusing but we don’t know for sure just beacuase they laughed, even though we can safely say it was unprofessional for them to do so, especially on camera.

    That’s the only thing I could find to say in their defense.

    Everything else about their behaviour was appalling. Like another post put it; no man should touch, let alone remove, the panties of a restrained, unwilling female in police custody. There was no justification for it and the only reasons i can imagine for this are stupidity or deliberate molestation.

    I am not from the US and nor have I ever visited. I would like to but the more I hear about the many incidents of police brutality, and how the system fails the victims, it makes me think twice. I saw on the news in England earlier today a video showing US police violently attacking a 15 year old girl just for flicking off her shoe! And it seems from comments I’ve read that no-one is suprised that US police ‘beat down’ people who have never been found guilty of any crime. Why do the police think they can get away with that kind of thing? In fact, why is it that they can? From the outside these stories make the US look like a third world country.

    Just out of interest, does Amnesty International ever have an opinion on treatment of people in custody in America?

    Also, how can the law be changed to make sure that only women can be involved of the removal of womens clothes in custody? (Although I would have thought that the fact that men are not allowed to be involved in strip searches of females or see women showering would be enough to make the removal of womens clothes by men illegal too! Even if it is for suicide prevention.)

    If I had a ton of money I’d give enough of it to Hope so that she never settled out of court.

  45. Clara said


    I know exactly how you feel, me too.

  46. John said

    Ok heres a copy of the three teen girls story:

    Teens claim they got strip searched on jail tour

    Three girls suing after visit to Ohio juvenile detention center

    updated 3:59 p.m. CT, Wed., Aug. 29, 2007
    CANTON, Ohio – Three teenage girls ordered to take a cautionary tour of a juvenile detention center are suing the counties that oversee the facility, claiming they were subjected to a strip search.

    According to the lawsuit, guards at the center had the girls remove their clothes, squat, lift their breasts and open their mouths as part of the strip searches.

    The lawsuit claims the girls — ages 14, 15 and 16 — agreed to take a 15-minute walkthrough of the facility in Canton on May 18 and perform 20 hours of community service to avoid going to court on trespassing charges filed after a fight. Their lawyers claim the teens were only bystanders at the fight.

    After the searches, the girls were given dirty inmates’ uniforms to wear, according to the lawsuit.

    Although it is a detention center, the facility is named the Multi-County Juvenile Attention Center. The suit, filed Tuesday in Common Pleas Court, names the six counties that oversee the facility as defendants and seeks at least $25,000 in damages.

    An investigator is looking into the allegations, but no conclusions have been made, Stark County Sheriff Timothy Swanson said. Court Administrator Richard DeHeer and facility superintendent Donald Thernes wouldn’t comment on the lawsuit.

    If the parents had known their children would be strip searched, they never would have consented to the walkthrough, attorneys Brian Zimmerman and Allen Schulman Jr. said.
    Right after the story Richard DeHeer was quoted as saying that the guards followed protocols.
    In this story they say he won’t comment, except that he already had.

    And I later called him and talked to him, I asked if it was still “protocol” to strip search kids on “tours”.

    He then told me that there was no such protocol, NOR HAD THERE EVER BEEN.

    He wouldn’t comment further because the lawsuit was still pending at that time.

    So the fact that the sheriff investigated and no charges were ever filed against anyone, even after DeHeer told me that there had NEVER been any protocol like that is surprising.

    Especially after they paid out $300,000 to settle the suit.

    Of course we all know WHY no charges were filed. Because if they did then the guards would have spilled the beans on the higherups and the chit would have rolled UPHILL!

  47. John said

    Cece QUOTE “Because I really can’t handle watching the videos anymore, could you please elucidate on what Hope said to the nurse in sarcasm?”

    Ok first it was reported that she asked “Now or ever” to the question, if she ever thought of harming herself. This is also what she testified to in court, and it was NEVER disputed then by the police, prosecutors, or anyone else.

    This is also what was reported in the news for months and it was never disputed by anyone, until this all blew up nationally and they had the grand jury investigation. Then sheriff had the nurse interview edited and enhanced out of context.

    Back when the “now or ever” answer was quoted, everyone wondered why she answered like that. But since the nurse interview, it all becomes clearer now.

    This is what the CantonRep reported:
    The nurse asked Steffey if she ever had thought about harming herself.

    “Sure, I have,” Steffey responded, according to an audio recording enhanced for clarity by the state but still difficult to hear.

    “When was the last time you thought about harming yourself in any way?”

    “Well, right now’s a good time.”

    So when they asked again, it appears she was sarcastically refers to her earlier sarcastic answers, and this is the reason for the unusual answer.

    It also gives a clearer view of why she was “punished/abused” by the authorities like she was.

    I put up one link to a national video from MSNBC just above your post, I don’t have the other one handy. In that one the video is analyzed by a former police trainer, and a CBS legal analyst.

    I haven’t seen it on Oprah.

    But when the cops complained in a newspaper article that they had been embarrassed on national TV, I posted a comment, and offered to contact Dr Phil and ask him to polygraph them on national TV to clear their names. I also offered to take one myself to substantiate everything I posted. I didn’t any “takers” or responses from anyone. (I did write to the Dr Phil show twice….though I never received a response.) 😉

    What can we do? I contacted all my Reps as I said before. And I also contacted the United States Attorney General. (Never got a response.) But I am up for another call.

    What we need to do is choose a day about a month from now for everyone to call at the same time, to generate enough calls to make them notice.

    Attorney General of the United States
    U.S. Department of Justice
    950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20530-0001
    Department of Justice Main Switchboard – 202-514-2000
    Office of the Attorney General – 202-353-1555

  48. John said

    Clara QUOTE “Why do the police think they can get away with that kind of thing? In fact, why is it that they can? From the outside these stories make the US look like a third world country.”

    How can cops get away with stuff? Well if it’s not in a public place the police are usually the ones that control all the evidence, like in the Steffey case.

    And even when it’s in a public place and there is TONS of video like the BART shooting, then the cops fall back on BS. Like saying the guy was “resisting”, even though they had him face down, with two cops on him, and a third standing by.
    And it’s amazing to police that people “resist” having a knee on their head, in their backs, or having their arms twisted up behind them until they are yelling in pain.

    We LOOK like a third world country? LoL We are becoming one too. Thanks to NAFTA, all our good paying industrial jobs are gone, and any left are looking to go.
    Many businesses have left as fast as they can, and now the economy is starting to reflect that fact.
    The wall street greed just happened to trigger the start of it, but it was bound to happen sooner or later from something anyway.
    There is no way to keep an economy going with as many jobs as we had leave the country.
    So now I suppose crime will rise and police abuses will become even more common.

    Amnesty International does rate states on their laws.

    Clara QUOTE “Also, how can the law be changed to make sure that only women can be involved of the removal of women’s clothes in custody?”

    Yeah, I’m with you, if the law says that men can’t be present during a strip search or cavity search, or even be where they can see women in showers, I don’t see how Swanson gets by saying this is his policy. It’s not logical, reasonable, or moral.

    Anyway I have talked to Butch Hunyadi at the Bureau of Adult Detention
    (614-752-1062 ) . I guess they are changing the law now so that this won’t happen again. Although he said that it will take them a year to get it changed, as this has to be done by the state Reps. I asked how soon there would even be a draft to look at, but he wasn’t sure. So whether or not this will actually change things, or get passed as law, I don’t know yet for sure. But it seems surprising that the sheriff’s dept is STILL doing this crap, even as they are trying to put a stop to it.

    Clara QUOTE “If I had a ton of money I’d give enough of it to Hope so that she never settled out of court.”

    I was thinking the same thing, just the other day!

    I would love to see this go to a trial. I have already contacted Steffey’s lawyers and volunteered to testify to the things that I found while looking into this.
    I know I’ll never be called, because there’s no way they can let this get to a trial, but I wanted to help drive the settlement numbers up as much as I could. Any voters/taxpayers stupid enough to re-elect this sheriff deserve to pay through the nose.

  49. clara said

    Hi John,

    So the cops control the evidence against them.

    When someone’s lawyers ask the police for a self incriminating tape they have to make a decision.

    Do I:
    a) Hand over the tape which proves I committed a felony and will land me in jail
    or do I:
    b) Erase the part of the tape and take my chances on possibly being accused of not following proceedure regarding video.

    No brainer.

    It’s a good thing that cameras have been introduced into police cars and police stations etc. to protect both police and to protect from police abuse.

    Now it’s time to take this a step further and take the control of police video and audio recordings out of the hands of the police so that they are processed, or a least immediately copied and stored, by a seprate and independent body. IF this is not practicable then at the very least, the consquences of unexplained missing recordings must be severe.

    Then we wouldn’t have some of the idiots making comments on this story saying that she should have removed her clothes when they asked her to. So they asked her on the only bit of tape missing did they? Yeah right.

  50. John said

    Anyone in Ohio, let the governor know how you feel:

    Let your state Reps know:

    Todd Snitchler

    W. Scott Oelslager

    Stephen Slesnick

    Mark D. Okey

  51. John said


    Even that first video was NOT handed over voluntarily by the sheriff. Steffey’s lawyers had to ask specifically for it, TWICE.

    There has been so much about this case that has been skewed around.

    They always bring up about the dead sisters license, like Steffey was trying to pass herself off as her with a PHOTO ID.
    They never seem to bring up the fact that at Steffey’s trial even the officer testified this was NOT true.

    Sometimes they say “the victim couldn’t be identified” by the responding officer or that there was “confusion”.

    Sure once the cops got there Steffey’s niece tried to say Steffey was the guilty one.
    But if that was the case why wasn’t SHE the one that called 911?
    Another interesting fact left out is that the BROTHER of Steffey’s attacker is the one that called police ON HIS OWN SISTER!
    Plus the fact they have everyone else there saying that Steffey was the VICTIM.
    There CLEARLY should have been NO confusion on who the guilty party was.

    And on and on.

    I wish I could debate this case on TV and rip these thugs and their excuses to shreds.

    I have been asking for more information from Stark County and still have not received it.
    And I’m not the only one complaining about this…

  52. Derek said

    Seriously first off thankyou john. I know quite a few have told you this, but I feel your diligence on this issue is truely outstanding. Second you are correct in fearing for your friends and relatives safety. When people see stuff like this happen it most certainly raises certain feeling of outrage that do not easily subside. The feeling of being helpless and taken advantage of dies hard.

  53. John said

    Thanks Derek

    This case just hit a nerve with me, and its unbelievable that this is still happening. And in fact the sheriff is on TV ‘bragging’ about having all kinds of naked inmates at his jail!!

    As a small update I AGAIN called the Ohio Atty General’s office and asked “WHAT do I have to do to get this abuse STOPPED at the Stark County jail”? I said there have been lawsuits paid out, and taxpayers are STILL at risk of having to pay out more for these outrageous abuses.

    The woman there had to clarify what case I was talking about, that there hadn’t been any calls recently about the case. She said they did have a letter about it, and that there is another “investigation” going on about this case.
    I don’t know if its really true or not, but thats what they passed on to me.

    Will this investigation be better than the last??? Who knows?

  54. John said

    I have been posting this on the net:

    Hmm won’t let me post phone numbers up here…I have been posting them so people can call and just ASK what it will take to stop the abuses at the Stark County jail.

  55. Gos said

    Well, it finally happened to a white woman. An attractive blonde, no less. Good! I’m glad!

    Don’t get me wrong — my heart goes out to Hope Steffey, and I hope her lawsuit bankrupts the whole county. What happened to her was wrong, and it exposes serious corruption in law enforcement that is FAR from the exception.

    The reason I’m glad that it finally happened to an attractive blonde woman is because of the sad fact that most Americans don’t care nor do they want to believe the hard truth about cops in general — so long as it’s only non-whites and males who are getting abused. Remember Rodney King, and how we all saw the video of him getting beaten to a pulp, but no one seemed to care, and most white people insisted that he must’ve deserved it? Now that it’s happened to someone who is neither non-white nor male, maybe there won’t be so many Americans (particularly white Americans) living in denial of the fact that our so-called cops are nothing more than criminals who happen to have badges to go with their guns.

  56. Gos said

    John wrote: “After the prisoner was cuffed & shackled, he was moved to a new location. As fate would have it, his leg chains got tangled somehow at the top of the stairs…he didn’t grab the rail, because his hands were cuffed, and no guards were close enough to catch him…OOPS!

    I don’t have a problem with this.

    This was an already convicted felon, the attack was documented, and my friend was sure of the attacker’s identity.
    Plus this wasn’t just a case of revenge, but a case of safety for every guard in there. These felons aren’t afraid of more time, so an attack has to be responded to quickly to show that no guard can be attacked without a consequence.
    Its the only way to make it safe, and I understand the need.”

    John, I am shocked and dismayed by your comment. You make it abundantly clear that what happened to this inmate was no accident, and you go so far as to make excuses for an abusive prison guard.

    …BUT — this particular guard was your friend, and his victim was not a blonde female or a teenage girl, but a male and probably non-white.

    You are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

    John wrote: “Anyway, just wanted to point out that not ALL cops are like this.”

    I fail to see how you’ve made your point. All you’ve really done is to rationalize why your friends should be exempted from the rules that you insist should be enforced on Hope Steffey’s attackers.

    And I see this all the time — the only difference between a “good cop” and a “corrupt cop” seems to be whether you know him well enough to get him to fix your traffic tickets.

    Your phony outrage over Steffey’s attack while defending your corrupt personal friends stands as an example of rank hypocrisy, and it reeks to high heaven.

    If you really want to make a change for the better, you should remember that change begins at home. If you have not reported your friend to the authorities for bragging about pushing a shackled inmate down the stairs, then you have no place to comment on the Steffey case.

    BTW — in every prison system, there exist certain approved, standardized disciplinary practices (such as solitary confinement) that do not involve pushing the inmate down a flight of stairs (indeed, since prisoners are typically transported between floors on elevators, one is forced to wonder why your friend chose to use the stairs instead, if not for the sole purpose of facilitating an attack,) so your excusing your friend’s reprehensible and criminal behavior as a necessary evil doesn’t fly. He is no better than the felon he pushed down the stairs, and he belongs in prison, shackled alongside him.

    Thank you so much for showing the public just how we arrived at such a sorry state in law enforcement. It is citizens like you who rationalize criminal police behavior who have made it so that people like Steffey’s attackers can get away with their crimes simply by claiming that their conduct was “professional” and “by the book”.

  57. John said

    Gos I used that comment because some cops/corrections & the Stark County Sheriff, were implying that ‘laymen’ didn’t understand the corrections system.

    I understand why some things happen in the corrections system. And like I said the inmates aren’t afraid of any “standardized disciplinary practices”. But this Steffey case is also a whole other set of circumstances.

    Hypocrisy? I don’t know, if all those deputies in the Steffey video had been friends, I would have still been yelling for them to be fired & punished. And if ever anyone I do know is in a situation like this, I will do everything in my power to see that their certification is pulled and they are punished. (My outrage isn’t phony.)

    But I understand what you mean about cops covering for other cops, no matter what the circumstances.

    I don’t know if I can make the distinction while typing in text, sometimes its hard to get an idea across. Especially about something like looking at “laws”.
    Talk about hypocrisy!
    A hundred years ago, drugs were all legal, but today people are sent to prison, sometimes for life, because NOW they are against the law.

    Would you send your buddy to prison for life if he offered you a beer from a sixpack?

    Well before prohibition, booze was legal, but then for 13 years, it was against the law. People went to prison for drinking, or making it. And during the depression there was a lot of incentive to have a still.
    BUT now its legal again!!! So no one goes to prison for doing the same thing they did during prohibition. The morality of this never changed, only the laws governing it.

    Thats why I have a problem with “hypocritical laws”.

    So I see your point that laws have been broken in either of these cases, but the circumstances/morality of them are worlds apart.

    Anyway I hope this gives some insight to what I am trying to get across, even if you still don’t agree with it. I hope it does ease some of the anger you have towards me over this.

    But whatever, I am still not letting up the pressure on THIS case, in THESE circumstances, with THESE cops. Especially when I have talked to these people and I KNOW them for what they REALLY are.
    I still get smoking when I think of the lies these people have handed me again & again.

    Anyway got to run—later

  58. Sandy said

    *** A challenge to the producers of the Cops program, and to AMW’s John Walsh ***

    John Walsh does a wonderful job on America’s Most Wanted showing that police officers have a difficult and dangerous job. He highlights those who have done outstanding work, and those who have died in the line of duty.

    Anyone who cares about the great police officers in this country should be highly offended by what’s going on in Stark County and in other places in this country where police are sullying the noble occupation of Police Officer. If I were a cop, I’d first be suspicious of the charges against the officers, because sometimes situations occur that are hard for the public to understand if you weren’t there when it happened. But when a case is so clearly outrageous as the treatment of Hope Steffey, police officers everywhere should publicly support the victim, in order to defend their own reputations! John Walsh, please speak to the issue of bad cops, and promote ways to solve the problem. Objective, third-party oversight of the video systems used is one good suggestion I saw here. More psychological screening of officers-in-training is another idea. The first step to solving it is admitting that there is a problem!

    I personally feel that some unstable characters slip through the cracks enough when in training for the job of police officer, and once they become cops, many others become addicted to the sense of power that comes with having total authority over another human being. This kind of abuse leads to problems like innocent people being afraid to talk to the police at all, even when the police just want help solving crimes.

    I am personally terrified of police officers, yet I have never been arrested in my life, and have rarely had to deal with the police. My problem is that I can’t tell by looking at an officer whether he/she is a safe, ethical defender of law and order (like most of them) or one of the rogue cops, like the Stark County officers who manhandled Hope Steffey.

    Then we have the “Cops” program. Totally unbelievable. Here are police officers being filmed chasing down bad guys and gals, risking their lives in doing so, and being *excruciatingly* polite during the entire ordeal. It is SO FAKE that it make me sick. I know they are just performing for the camera when being polite and offering clear explanations for the arrest to the jerks they are handcuffing, yet I would prefer them to be realistic and cuss a bit at the guy who just rammed six other cars after trying to run down the officer who pulled the him over. (Maybe they do cuss and I just haven’t seen enough episodes of it yet? Sure looks fake to me *every* time I watch that show.)

    I get the impression that the politeness used on “Cops” is pure fiction, and the sadism performed on Hope Steffey and countless others is the non-fiction.

    Hey “Cops” producers, why not devote a few minutes on each show presenting cases of those occasional “rogue” cops that insult the profession by their behavior, and show these cops receiving the justice they deserve. That’s how you can make people feel safer around the police, rather than presenting this fake “polite officer” TV fiction. That’s my challenge.

    I look forward to other blog commenters to criticize my comments, as I probably have made mistakes in explaining my impression of these two TV shows.

  59. John said

    QUOTE “It is SO FAKE that it make me sick. I know they are just performing for the camera when being polite”

    Thats the exact impression I get when I look at the Steffey videos.

    If I can slap you around, put you in cuffs, and stick you in the car, and -I- get to pick when to turn the camera on, I can make anyone look just as bad as Steffey did in her “arrest” video. This video was almost an hour long, and they edited everything but six minutes.
    Let me do the same thing, assault you and then not respond to anything you say, until the end of the tape/ride. And then I can show some “real concern” for you at the very end, and make it look like I’m the good guy.

    UPDATE After 5-6 months I have finally received more information from the Stark County sheriff’s dept. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet. They didn’t send some of the stuff I specifically asked for. But it looks like they sent just enough to try to get me off their backs.

    Looks as though they will delay long enough that the case is settled before I get the information I want.

  60. John said


    After 5-6 months of waiting for documents I finally got some in the mail. Of course I didn’t get everything I asked for, and they blacked out some names on the reports.

    The sheriff has always maintained that Steffey was ASKED to remove her cloths and refused.

    According to the BCI document Steffey was NEVER asked to remove her cloths! This is from THEIR OWN REPORTS!!

    So how the heck is the sheriff still selling this LIE?!!??!

    Most of the “investigation” consists of them rubber stamping everything the cops allege as the truth, even as they find obvious lies from them.

    The investigation says Nurse Coren Lennon is supposedly the one that said Steffey should be put on suicide precautions with no suit. The jail psychologist Thomas Anuszkiewicz just approved her evaluation, which doesn’t seem much like an ‘independent’ opinion, like he alleges.

    It also says that the Stark County sheriff is aware of an FBI investigation into this.
    Hopefully they won’t rubberstamp everything the sheriff’s dept says, and then present it as “proof”, like the last investigation.

  61. John said

    Ok I scanned one page of the report. (Page 3)
    Its only seven pages, so I’ll probably do all of it later. But most of it is the sheriff’s report, apparently spellchecked and presented as fact.
    I’d have to read it again, to be sure, but I see NO mention of ANY testimony other than the police! Gee, wouldn’t that make it one sided for SURE?!?!?

    This is the BCI report that Agent Christy S. Palmer sent to John D. Ferrero, Prosecuting Attorney Stark County Ohio.
    Dated April 16, 2008 BCI Case #: SI-76-08-14-0147

    This report says that, “as recorded by jail video”, she “repeatedly tried to pull away from the officers” on the way to the cell.

    So what the hell video was she watching?!?! I saw EIGHT people with a handcuffed woman, and I saw NO struggle. But even if there WAS, this in NO WAY excuses the way this was done.

    And then they are not only using this as an excuse to NOT give her a chance to remover her cloths, but apparently as an excuse to not even tell her what is going on. (As we have all said before, but heres the indisputable PROOF!)

    People mindlessly attack the news for supposedly a one sided report of the story, but I saw absolutely NO news reports that bring THIS up.

    And that part about them bringing her to a SLOW, CONTROLLED decent to the floor.
    How the frick would she know? The video isn’t even there! (Let me guess, she took the cops word for it.)
    Even though Steffey says they pushed her face into the floor, and in a call to her husband she says that she thinks they broke her nose, plus the Sheriff’s dept even reports that the nurse treated Steffey for a “bruised nose”.
    So where the heck is THAT in this report!??!?


    BTW I don’t know why they bothered to black out the names of Nurse Coren Lennon and the jail psychologist Thomas Anuszkiewicz, aren’t they PROUD of the work they do??

  62. John said

    This was reported in the CantonRep paper. The link for it is now gone, but I have the whole artcile already saved. I also asked for the link to be updated, but got no response.

    QUOTE “Two male deputies restrained Steffey, while a female deputy and a female corrections officer removed her clothes. Deputies said Steffey was told she would have to give up her clothes and was given the opportunity to remove them voluntarily. But none could recall who made those statements, according to the state investigation.” UNQUOTE

    As you can see by the video, the statement about only women removing her cloths is a lie, and from the BCI report, apparently the part about them giving her a chance to remove her own cloths is also a lie.
    So I guess depending on the papers for a ‘independent & objective’ report is a no-no.
    They have the same mis-information printed as the sheriff’s dept is handing out, and apparently they can see video evidence, and STILL print lies.


  63. Gos said

    John wrote: “I understand why some things happen in the corrections system. And like I said the inmates aren’t afraid of any ‘standardized disciplinary practices’.”

    That’s an excuse, and a pathetic excuse for an excuse at that.

    Do you personally know any prison inmates? ‘Cause I live in the (police) State of Texas, which means that half of the people I know have been to prison, and most of the other half have at least been to jail (including myself.) Have you heard their stories of “standardized disciplinary practices”? I have, and if you haven’t, then your only so-called “knowledge” of whether they’re afraid of standard discipline is based entirely on the say-so of a personal friend of yours who’d like to be able to justify the crime of pushing another human being down the stairs. Yeah, that’s fair.

    I can tell you from personal knowledge that most of the inmates in prison are at the very least afraid of picking up another case — the only exception being lifers and those who have spent so much time in prison that they are no longer competent to survive in the free world (an unanticipated liability of a short-sighted “lock ’em up and throw away the key” approach to law enforcement.) As for lifers and long-termers, they are still very much afraid of the loss of priveleges and/or of being “tossed in the hole”. Solitary confinement is no picnic — there’s a reason that there are laws limiting the number of consecutive days that a prisoner can be held in solitary: In the past, prisoners have gone mad in solitary confinement.

    It just so happens that my ex and the mother of my child is one of the convicted felons who you seem to think are less than human, and undeserving of basic human rights like the right not to be pushed down the stairs without justice after the fact. As of the date of this writing, she’s been on parole for about a year. She can tell you just what the prisoners are and aren’t afraid of, because the memory of being one of them is still quite fresh in her mind. Just a few days ago, she was telling me about certain “standard” disciplinary procedures which had resulted in the deaths of several of her fellow inmates. (Lawsuits are pending in those cases — I wonder if the cameras were working?)

    And sure, she’s my ex, so that means that at one point or another in my life I might’ve wanted to push her down a flight of stairs myself, but under no circumstances do I think that just because she’s a convicted felon that she deserves to be pushed down a flight of stairs.

    The term “convicted felon” does not mean “non-human”, nor does it mean that a person no longer has the basic human right to be protected against being pushed down a flight of stairs — much less while his or her hands and feet are shackled.

    Oh, but wait — this guy attacked your friend. Unprovoked? Are we to be so gullible as to believe that your friend was just standing there minding his own business and this guy just clobbered him out of nowhere? Is that documented as well, or was there a “camera malfunction” just prior to the attack? …And were the cameras working when your friend pushed the guy down the stairs, or was there an “accidental erasure” of the tape? Ain’t it funny how well the cameras work some of the time, and how they fail at the most inopportune times? OOPS!

    Even if the attack was completely unprovoked and your friend was entirely innocent of any wrongdoing prior to the point where he pushed the inmate down the stairs, there are lawful and effective ways of dealing with such behavior on the part of a prisoner, and incidentally didn’t your mother ever teach you that two wrongs don’t make a right?

    Oh yeah, John, you’re a real prince. Really, guy?

    Think about this for a second: One person has had her clothing forcibly removed, and another has been pushed down a flight of stairs while his hands and feet were shackled. Which is worse?

    You are a personal witness to the perpetrator of a criminal act of violence against another human being, bragging about his crime, no less, and you don’t have a problem with it, but you’re all worked up over some woman being stripped by men and women who didn’t say “please”? How d’you sleep at night, ya hypocrite?

    I guess it’s a good thing for Hope Steffey that she’s an attractive blonde, that she wasn’t a convicted felon, and that none of the deputies in question happened to be a personal friend of yours, or you’d be in the blogosphere arguing that you didn’t have a problem with it. You’d swallow every lie the Sheriff’s Dept handed out, just like you swallowed your friend’s cock-n-bull story about how that inmate deserved what he got, and when the media repeated the lie, rather than investigate the story, you’d take the story as confirmation that your friend and his fellow deputies were telling the truth.

    Look, John, I’m not saying I don’t appreciate your advocacy for Hope, but I am saying that if you don’t put as much effort into advocating for justice in the case of the inmate that your friend pushed down the stairs, then you are not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

    Your conscience may be weak and gullible enough to swallow the B.S. you’re spouting to excuse your friend’s crime, but I am not. You have personal knowledge of a crime far worse than that committed against Hope Steffey, and not only have you done nothing to seek justice, you have actually argued to excuse the injustice. Your friend belongs behind bars, not guarding them.

    …And your reason for doing nothing is…?

    — Gos

  64. Sad to say, lawsuits will not stop this kind of police abuse. When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to throw of the ties that bind them……
    You will see in the coming civil war, police being mowed down and slaughtered as oppressors. The thought of going thru that police station with body armor and a few 12 gauge street sweepers automatically jumps in my mind when I see this kind of thing.
    If they are going to abuse and terrorize the citizens, they need to disarm us first.
    I am not advocating armed rebellion; however, I was born free a citizen of this great republic and I will die as such. America is the only country on earth people try to sneak into. It is a resilient nation. The cause and source of every human and civil rights advance in the world. I feel it will correct this evil in due time.
    God help the innocent to perceiver.

  65. john454 said

    Gos, You are right about not taking someones word for what happened. That shouldn’t happen. For all we know the inmate might have had a reason. But then, it shouldn’t be enough for him to have not followed the laws either.

    Why am I not fighting this story as hard as Steffey’s? Well this one is a 20+ year old tale, that had taken place who knows how long before that….IF it had really taken place at all.
    You have to allow for even a lie. Plus the fact I have no idea where this was supposed to have taken place, or when.

    The sad truth is that without the video, Steffey’s case wouldn’t have rated a second look, everyone would be siding with the cops.
    Even with the video, they keep repeating the same mantra over & over that she was physically & verbally abusive, and out of control…..and it seems people actually believe it if its repeated enough times.

    And I have stated that if any of these cops had been friends that there is no way I would sit on this, but you keep posting crap to the contrary, so I am just guessing that theres going to be no reasonable way to resolve this with you.

    Anyway Happy Easter—

  66. […] you read the comments here, there has been a lot of coverup by the police department.  They claim the usual, “The camera […]

  67. […] women who does not resist at can be taken to jail, then pinned down in a cell, video taped, and completely stripped by multiple female and male officers with no consequences. I know someone who had a similar thing happen with a “forced blood draw” after a […]

  68. John454 said

    QUOTE “Whether or not the videotape was presented to the state grand jury will probably never be known, since the deliberations of grand juries are held in secret.”

    Well I can’t say what was shown, but I do know some of what they didn’t show.
    They didn’t show them all the court transcripts, because theres a page missing, right in the middle of the arresting officers testimony. (Page 133)
    They didn’t show the the 911 call.
    They never gave them the call Steffey made to her husband.
    They never showed the nurse interview with Steffey.

    All these pieces of evidence are KEY pieces in this case.
    I fail to understand HOW they can claim to have investigated this case WITHOUT these.

  69. John454 said

    Links to Steffey Torture

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

    Another woman that was there when Hope Steffey was assaulted, I wonder how she sleeps at night??

  70. John454 said


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

    Heres 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.
    Heres a link to the whole thing that should be good for a while:

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

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

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

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


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

  71. PAT said

    I have worked in suicide prevention units. You know what it takes to get a person appear suicidal? Just say she mentioned hurting them self. I have seen nurses do this to 80 year old geriatrics for merely being uncooperative. Just push on to the civil lawsuit, and focus on the actual fact gathering involving any actionable justification for self harm. I am sure that when it gets picked at, it will fall apart.

    In short, she was probably being a loud pain in the ass, and the cops did that to shut her up. Yeah, I have seen it done more than once.

  72. Not the Judge said


    Who knows what this woman did before this video starts. If she was completely innocent through that portion of the video how come that has not come out yet? She could have been fighting with officers up until that point and in that case the officers are 100% justifiable.

    I routinely go to correctional law updates and have had this info verified. No one should be making judgement off a one sided report.

  73. John454 said

    QUOTE “Not the Judge said
    Who knows what this woman did before this video starts.”

    I do, and so can you….its all on YouTube.

    I’m not making any judgment on a one sided report, I have been looking into this case for over a year!

    In that year I have had the Stark County cops withhold information, laugh when I asked for information, and out right LIE to me. I have also left my name & number MANY times, with assurances of a return call.

    The state has been more helpful, as has Butch Hunyadi at the Bureau of Adult Detention.
    I have also talked to Stark County Prosecutor John Ferrero, Stark County Family Court Administrator Richard DeHeer, Special Prosecutions Ohio Attorney General, Paul Scarsella the Section Chief & Bridget Carty, the Ohio Press Secretary Jim Gravelle, the Correctional Healthcare Group CEO Jonathon Stump, the local FBI agent, and Stark County Jail Director of Human Resources Vivianne Whalen.

    Heres the first in a series of videos, just look at all the posted videos….

    This series will also show the cops excuses for the lies they are.
    I am also still trying to get more info, but even the States Atty’s Office is having trouble getting it from the BCI.

    Yeah, these people have nothing to hide…. 😦

  74. pen said

    Apparently the video wasn’t seen by the grand jury because the sheriff said the hand held camera was broken.

    Now the video has been accepted by Federal Court will Grand Jury reopen case and check theInvestigators report which apparently was also not truthfully reported as she categorically said there was no Body or Cavity search but the rendered photographs in ‘Expose them all. Hope Steffey Case’ shows the truth

    • John454 said

      Photographs? Do you have a link to them?

      The video that they said the camera was broken is the strip video. The beginning of this video is “missing”. This is when Steffey says she was attacked by the guards/cops. BUT THEN, just as they force her to the bunk to strip her, this same camera starts working again!! (Anyone else’s stuff repair itself?)

      I have never seen a report on this “magic” camera, on how many times it failed to record, either before this incident, or afterwards.

      I was always puzzled by the news saying that there was “confusion” when the cops arrived.

      I’m thinking what “confusion”?? They have everyone there saying that Steffey was the victim, even the cousin is saying it on video. Plus the brother of the attacker calls the cops on his own sister.
      Heck even the cop testifies that he went to his car to document Steffey’s injuries…so WHY are they saying there was “confusion”!?!?

      Then I found out why…the cops tried to FRAME Steffey for the assault that she had reported!!

      This is a Cut & Paste of what I have been posting:


      Here’s 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.
      Ok heres part of Uncle Scott’s testimony at trial.

      So HOW do the cops use a statement to frame Steffey, from a guy that testifies that he saw NOTHING?!?!?!?

      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.

      Plus we have the other witnesses that said Steffey was the one attacked. The cop has them all looking for Steffey hair that was ripped out.
      Even the officer testified at court that he went to his cruiser to get a camera to document Steffey’s injuries, there seems to be no “confusion” about who was the victim like the papers claim. 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 railroad the VICTIM of the assault!

  75. jonathan riley said

    OMG this is a terrible case. Thanks for helping to get the facts out. I hadn’t heard about this citizen’s ordeal until tonight (I live in the UK).

  76. Clara said

    So, is there a trial date yet? I so much want this to go to court.

    • John said

      Sorry Clara the case was settled between the county & Steffey. But she is still suing the jail contractors, but this will NEVER go to a trial either.

      If any of this went to a trial then all the BS would be exposed and the criminal actions of the cops, the BCI, and the jail staff would come to light.

      Reporter Tom Myer was hung up on by the sheriff when he asked for a comment. All I can say is WELCOME TO THE CLUB!! I have been hung up on many times by these people, while just asking questions!!

      YEAH! They have nothing to hide! LoL

  77. John said

    Deputies drop suit vs. WKYC over Hope Steffey report

    Just as I have said all along NONE of this would EVER get to a trial. There is just no way for the cops to justify what was done to Steffey.

  78. Clara said

    How desperately dissapointing. I guess I shouldn’t have hoped to see a trial. Do you think we will ever know the settlement figures? I know people want to avoid getting sued, but it’s only having these things exposed in court that can have any real impact on the self delusion and the criminality of corrupt people in positions power and trust. I always wonder how much these people like the Stark County Sheriff actually believe their own lies.

    • John said

      Well if you think that’s disappointing you should see the FBI report I got the other day!! 2-23-2010

      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.

      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

  79. Clara said

    That’s pretty terrible John. You’re a saint to keep going with this. I’ll keep checking back for more info. It’s not over till this BS stops happening.

    The central plank for me in this whole case has been, did they, or did they not, ask her to remove her clothes before they did it by force? The police claim that they did but the evidence indicates that they did not. So why does this never come up in any of the ‘investigations’

    Also, you say that in the police reports themselves there is conflicting statments from two consecutive police shifts about whether Steffey had been drinking. The shift that stripped her said she was very drunk, the very next shift says she wasn’t drunk at all. How does the FBI report ignore this?

    I just don’t get how it’s all been covered up when it’s all such blatant BS. Isn’t there a single decent honest person among the investigators?

    Corruption is SO hard to deal with.

    • john454 said

      At least the other shift wouldn’t lie for the others. Also the sheriff’s Human Resources lawyer seems like she will not lie ‘directly’ for them either, but she has tried to be as misleading as possible.

      I did call the FBI the other day but got the wrong Mr Hardy, so I need to get the right one tomorrow.

      I have also called the head of the investigation, Paul Scarsella, yesterday & today(2-26-2010). They said he wasn’t in yesterday and I called today & they said he was on the other line, but when I told them who I was THEN they said he must have “stepped out”, and they then took my name & number.

      I told the secretary that leaving my number really hasn’t worked all that well, but I was willing to try again.
      (Nothing so far.)

      The FBI report didn’t JUST blot out names like the state reports, they blocked out ANYTHING that would have made the cops look bad! LoL

      This whole mess is really a sick joke.

      They screw with you, slant the evidence, and then try to pretend that they have nothing to hide….and after screwing with you, expect you to believe them!!!

      And then people wonder why I am so riled up….”over this”, well it ain’t JUST this I am pissed about, its everything all taken together.

      As for what I am going through for this, it hardly compares to what Steffey & the other 5 women have had to go through to try to get this abuse stopped.

      At least they did get the strip searching of teens stopped at Stark County over the three teen girls that were strip searched against policy. (At least Richard DeHeer,
      Stark County Family Court Administrator (330)451-7413 told me on the phone that there was not a policy to strip teens, nor had there EVER been a policy like that.)

      BTW Sheriff Swanson’s “investigation” into those strip searches never resulted in ANY charges for anyone either.

      I know people have to wonder how that would be so…my answer would be to call and ask these people…get to talking with them. It won’t be long and you’ll start getting an idea of “WHY” things work the way they do in Stark County.

      Support Hope Steffey and demand justice:

      Governor Strickland
      (614) 466-3555, Fax: (614) 466-9354

      Senator Voinovich
      (800) 205-6446, Fax: (216) 522-7097

      Senator Brown
      (202) 224-2315, Fax: (202) 228-6321

      Congressman Boccieri
      (330) 489-4414, Fax: (330) 489-4448

      U.S. Attorney General Holder, (202) 353-1555

      Ohio Attorney General Cordray, (877) 244-6446

      (330) 456-6200

      Bureau of Adult Detention
      Butch Hunyadi

      Stark County Prosecutor
      John D. Ferrero
      Telephone: (330) 451-7897

      Stark County Sheriff
      (330) 430-3800

      Special Prosecutions Ohio Attorney General
      Paul Scarsella

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