SALT LAKE CITY — A former Box Elder County sheriff's deputy has pleaded guilty to federal charges related to illegally strip-searching women at traffic stops.
Scott R. Womack, 37, admitted in U.S. District Court last week to two misdemeanor counts of deprivation of rights under color of law. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors agreed to drop six other counts.
Judge David Sam will sentence Womack on June. 20. Each count carries a sentence of up to one year in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Womack admitted that in late September or early October 2011, he pulled a woman over for allegedly not having insurance. During the stop, he lied to her about having an outstanding warrant. He told her he could verify she wasn't the person if she showed him her tattoos. He threatened to arrest her unless she undid her pants to show him her pelvic area and lower back, according to his plea agreement.Comment on this story
In a July 2010 traffic stop, Womack admitted the same ruse and that he threatened to arrest a woman if she didn't expose her lower back and stomach. He also asked her to lower her shirt to reveal her chest but she refused, according to the agreement.
Two civil lawsuits against Womack are pending in federal court.
According to one suit, several women complained to the Box Elder County Sheriff's Office with similar stories about Womack. One woman says she called the office about the incident and was told: "I don't think officer Womack is that type of person."
Womack quit the sheriff's office in March 2011.