A federal court judge has cleared the way for a Utah State Prison inmate to sue a prison supervisor for ordering the strip search of the inmate's wife before she was allowed to visit the inmate.

Kerry Lee Boren filed a six-count suit against Gary DeLand and four other prison officials for violating his constitutional rights and those of his wife, Lisa.U.S. District Judge Bruce Jenkins adopted a magistrate's recommendation that five of the six counts be dropped for lack of merit.

But Jenkins concurred with the magistrate that Boren had reasonable cause to believe that Utah State Corrections Supervisor Newell Webb conspired with a visitor of the prison to order of strip search of Lisa Boren in front of prison visitors.

Boren's suit alleges Webb asked Lisa "in front of other visitors, to submit to a strip search for the purpose of determining whether her jeans had an open crotch."

He claimed the search was a result of a conspiracy, and the way it was handled slandered and defamed him and his wife. Jenkins dropped the claim of slander and defamation.

Jenkins also dropped four other counts alleging that corrections officials had harassed the couple during a visit.

Boren, 48, is serving a 1-to-15-year sentence for second-degree murder in the 1983 beating death of his first wife, Elvia Boren, who was found with bruises covering her body and hunched in a corner of their Salt Lake home.

Witnesses had told police that the beating may have occurred two days before it was reported.

In 1986, Kerry Boren and Lisa Boren were married in a jailhouse ceremony, but prison officials have refused to give the couple time alone since the wedding.

Jenkins adopted the magistrate's recommendation that the conspiracy count stand despite formal objection from Webb.