; The Associated Press, March 27, 1998

No charges filed in school strip search in Oregon

McMINNVILLE, Ore. No charges will be filed against the two adults who had 34 middle-school girls strip-searched by police in a hunt for stolen cash, CDs and makeup.

District Attorney Brad Berry said Friday he found no evidence of criminal intent in the Jan. 29 search at Duniway Middle School and no grounds for charges of sexual abuse or official misconduct against the vice principal or the policeman who was liaison officer at the school.

"That does not mean mistakes were not made," the district attorney said. "Whether or not that's a civil rights violation, for example, or some other civil violation, that's not my concern."

Since the search, the officer has been reassigned, and the vice principal resigned.

The girls, ages 12 to 14, were searched after no one would admit to the theft of CDs, makeup and cash from the locker room.

Two women from the police department were called in and the girls were taken into the locker room, where they were asked to take off their shoes and socks, shake out their bras, and pull down their pants and underwear to see whether anything fell out. Nothing did.

Several parents have filed notice they will sue the school district and the city, alleging the search violated the girls' civil rights.

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