Photo: Edouard Guihaire/AFP via Getty Image
A Virginia mother wants answers after prison guards strip searched her 8-year-old daughter before she was allowed to visit her inmate father.
The unidentified mom said Diamond Peerman, the girlfriend of the girl's father, drove the girl to Buckingham Correctional Center to visit her dad on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
Peerman said guards told the girl to strip after a drug-sniffing dog alerted guards to her.
The little girl hesitated to take her clothes off in front of strangers, according to the Virginian-Pilot.
Peerman, who is not the child's guardian, said she told the girl this was the only way she could visit her dad.
"I told her, that means you have to take all of your clothes off or you're not going to be able to see your dad," Peerman told the Virginian-Pilot. "That's when she started crying."
State policy allows strip searches at prisons. If a visitor refuses to be searched, they can be banned from the facility.
"That's outrageous," said Daniel Macallair, executive director of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice. "It's generally regarded in the criminal justice field that you do not strip search young children."
He called the strip search "an act of child abuse."
DOC Director of Communications Lisa Kinney said the allegation was "deeply troubling" and "represents a breach in protocol."
Kinney said she would take disciplinary action against the guards responsible for the search.
Photos: EPA.gov, Getty Images
Two New York City jail guards were arrested on Tuesday for failing to check on Jeffrey Epstein the night he took his own life in his jail cell in August.
The two federal Bureau of Prisons employees are suspected of failing to check on Epstein every half-hour, as required when an inmate was recently taken off suicide watch. The jail guards are also suspected of fabricating log entries to say they had checked on the high-profile inmate.
The guards, who were taken into custody early Tuesday morning, are expected to be formally charged in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan later Tuesday, Nov. 19.
Investigators believe the guards failed to check on Epstein for several hours, giving him ample opportunity to fashion a noose and hang himself with it.
Epstein was in jail awaiting a hearing on multiple counts of felony child molestation and human trafficking.
He was placed on suicide watch after he attempted to hang himself on July 23. He was found unconscious on his cell floor with bruises on his neck.
Epstein was taken off suicide watch about a week before his death, but guards were still required to check on him every 30 minutes because he was still considered at risk for self harm.
Conspiracy theorists argue that Epstein did not kill himself. They say Epstein was killed to silence him because he was about to reveal the identities of high-profile pedophiles in his inner circle.
A famed forensic pathologist hired by his brother determined that Epstein died by homicidal violence. The pathologist found tiny broken bones in Epstein's neck that are indicative of strangulation.
Forensic experts told the Dailymail.com that the hyoid bone near the Adam's apple can be fractured when a person hangs himself, but a broken hyoid bone is most often found in cases where victims were strangled to death.
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