Patrick George
May 21, 20099

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Hays County sheriff’s department officials repudiated a radio report Wednesday that claimed an elementary school student was strip-searched by sheriff’s deputies.

[efoods]But Alex Jones, an Austin-based nationally syndicated radio host, said he thinks the alleged search of an 8-year-old girl Tuesday was unlawful. And the family’s attorney, whose fees are being paid by Jones, said he is considering taking legal action.

Wade Jefferies, the family’s attorney, said a Buda Elementary School staff member saw a dime-sized bruise on the back of the girl’s thigh on Monday and asked where it came from. The girl said she hurt herself, Jefferies said, but when pressed further, the girl said her mother might have done it. On Tuesday, Jefferies said, the girl was asked to pull down her pants for a protective services official, school administrators and possibly a sheriff’s deputy.

“It was humiliating to her, frightening to her, and it caused her severe trauma and distress,” said Jefferies, who declined to name his clients.

Chris Van Deusen, a spokesman for the Department of Family and Protective Services, said that as a rule, the agency does not conduct forcible interviews or strip searches.

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