A former Marine Corps sergeant has filed a $1 million federal lawsuit, claiming her civil rights were violated in 2017 when sheriff's deputies from an Illinois county strip-searched her.
28-year-old Zandrea Askew said that on Jan. 20, 2017, three female deputies at a LaSalle County jail forcibly removed her clothing and left her for 12 hours in a padded cell after she was arrested.
Askew was arrested after deputies reported finding her “very disoriented and confused” in her car on the side of a road. Court records show misdemeanor DUI and resisting arrest charges were later dropped after it was determined authorities lacked sufficient evidence to make the traffic arrest.
Her attorney Terry Ekl aid Askew pulled her car over because she was ill, adding that his client did not break any traffic laws and cooperated with the deputies’ instructions. Askew also told deputies she had taken prescription medication, according to the arresting deputy’s incident report.
“Why do you need to take someone’s clothes off if they’re not cooperating with you?” Ekl said. “This was not a strip-search where they were looking for contraband. This was a form of punishment.”
No comment about the lawsuit was issued by the LaSalle sheriff office.