EXCLUSIVE: Woman says she was tazed, left naked in jail cell for hours

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by Claudia Coffey

WHAS11.com

Posted on September 12, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 13 at 9:08 AM

FLOYD CO., Ind. (WHAS11) -- A Floyd County woman allegedly stripped of her clothing by sheriff's deputies, tazed and left naked in a cell for eight hours.

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That's what Ashley Storm says happened when Floyd County Deputies arrested her for disorderly conduct and public intoxication in April. In a lawsuit, now filed in Federal Court, her attorney says their actions crossed the line.

"I just laid there crying and begging them and they just kept taking my clothes off," Ashley Storms said.

In this surveillance video you can see 23-year-old Ashley Storms taken into a Floyd County Jail cell, pushed to the ground, later her clothes removed. She describes her more than eight hour ordeal in the jail as humiliating and scary.

"I have never had someone tear my clothes off like that let alone a police officer. I was terrified. I didn't know what was going to happen," Storms said.

She was arrested in April on charges of disorderly conduct and public intoxication after she and her boyfriend got into an altercation with others at a New Albany bar. At the jail, she says she argued with deputies over the results of her breathalyzer test. After that, she was escorted to a private cell and told to take off her clothes and she refused. Then she says she was thrown to the ground and at least three deputies removed her clothes.

"They took my shoes and pants first, my underwear. Then when the other officer came in, someone gave him some scissors, they cut my shirt, then removed my bra," Storms said.

In a lawsuit filed in the Southern District of Southern Indiana, she's suing the Sheriff's Department and the individual deputies who stripped her and tazed her. 

"I was just laying there crying and stuff and they tazed me in the back. Told me not to move. If I moved at all before I heard that door shut, they'd taze me again," Storms said.

She says they checked on her every 30 minutes and she was not sexually assaulted, but was denied any clothing.

During that time, Storms says she did not assault the deputies or resist arrest. Her attorney Laura Landenwich says what happened to Storms crossed the line

"These are serious constitutional violations. This type of sexual humiliation, which is what this was, is not tolerated by the international community for prisoners of war abroad. And the fact that we treat a citizen in the state of Indiana this way is appalling," Landenwich said.

Sheriff Darrell Mills said, "We followed all proper procedures and protocol that are in place."

Beyond that Sheriff Mills says he can't comment further because of pending litigation.

Storms was arrested in 2012 for disorderly conduct and the sheriff's department says she does have a juvenile record.
 

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