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Ohio county seeks to settle suit over female inmate tattoo photos

The suit was filed on behalf of women arrested for minor offenses who had photos taken of tattoos on or near intimate body parts during booking


By Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — An Ohio county is seeking to settle a federal lawsuit over photographs taken of intimate tattoos of up to 682 female detainees for $2.5 million.

Franklin County commissioners on Tuesday agreed to the settlement, which must be approved by a federal judge.

The class-action lawsuit was filed in 2013 on behalf of women who were arrested for minor offenses between May 23, 2011 and April 30, 2014. Photos were taken of their tattoos on or near their intimate body parts when they were booked into the county jail.

The jail stopped the practice in April 2014.

Each woman is estimated to receive $2,735 under the plan. A third of the settlement would cover attorney fees, costs and expenses.

According to documents, the settlement does not include men, detainees charged with felonies or those who had tattoos photographed that were not in an intimate area.

Under terms of the settlement, the county would admit no wrongdoing. The sheriff’s office would be required to destroy the photos and cease taking intimate tattoo pictures of misdemeanor detainees.