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Girl, 8, strip searched to see her father at Virginia prison

Girl, 8, strip searched to see her father at Virginia prison”

An eight-year-old girl was allegedly strip searched last month before she was allowed to visit her father in a Virginia correctional facility.

"I am deeply disturbed by these reports, not just as governor, but as a pediatrician and a dad", Gov. Ralph Northam said Friday. The girl, who visit the Buckingham Correctional Center in Dillwyn was accompanied by her father's girlfriend. Diamond Peerman, who is the girlfriend of the father of the 8-year-old boy, took the girl to two and a half hours from Hampton. "It was then that she started to cry". Once there, a drug-sniffing dog focused on Peerman, requiring officials to conduct a strip search.

A contraband-detecting canine singled out Peerman, who was then told she would have to be strip-searched.

Nothing illegal was found on Peerman or the child or in the girlfriend's auto but they were still denied an in-person visit, settling instead for one through glass.

"It is deeply disturbing and is a violation of our Protocol", - said the press-Secretary of the DOC Lisa Kinney. "We sincerely apologize to this child and her family and will be taking immediate disciplinary action against the person responsible".

The girl's mother says her daughter already suffered from bipolar disorder, depression and ADHD, and has had to miss school due to the humiliating search. According to mother, she will no longer go to the father.

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The state's department of corrections policy mandates: "If a visitor refuses to submit to a search, or if a parent or guardian refuses consent for the search of a minor, the individual shall not be searched by force, but shall be denied entry into the facility", but rights groups, the girl's mother and even the state corrections facility have denounced the actions at the facility that day. "The staff member who authorized the search of the minor following a K-9 alert didn't have the authority to do so", Kinney wrote in an email to the Pilot.

According to reports, one of the correction officers asked: "How old are you, honey?"

"Why would you ask that when she's naked?"

"Her and her dad have a good relationship ... because she gets to go see him every weekend", she informed the newspaper. It said the girl, "was led to believe refusal would result in not being allowed to see her father". "She was traumatized", she said.

"Hey mom, I'm so insane that the prison had to strip me of all my clothes, it does not make any sense", she then texted her mother, according to the Virginian-Pilot.



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