Man sues Meriden Police department and city, says cavity search was sexual assault

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MERIDEN — A surveillance video showing a group of Meriden police officers holding down and strip-searching a 19-year-old man in a police department cell is expected to be the key piece of evidence in a federal civil rights trial.

The city, its police department and six officers are defendants in the lawsuit, which is scheduled to go to trial Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport.

A lawyer for the plaintiff has accused the officers of sexual assault, saying they conducted the March 2011 cavity search without a required warrant or medical supervision.

An attorney for the officers has argued that it was a legal strip-search, approved by a supervisor. The attorney notes in court documents that the search resulted in the recovery of cocaine, which led to a drug conviction.

In a 2010 incident in Meriden, an officer was found guilty of unreasonable force after injuring a person arrested for a DUI.