Cavity search lawsuits progress

POSTED: 8:09 AM Apr 24 2013   UPDATED: 5:50 PM Apr 24 2013

According to the Associated Press, jury deliberations are underway in a lawsuit alleging Portsmouth City Jail employees violated the rights of nine female contract workers forced to undergo strip searches during a drug-smuggling investigation.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that the federal court jury in Norfolk will resume deliberations Wednesday morning. The case went to the jury Tuesday.

The workers allege that Sheriff Bill Watson ordered deputies to perform visual body-cavity searches of all contract workers entering the jail in April 2011. If the workers didn't consent, they would be barred from the jail and thus risked losing their jobs.

Watson's attorney, Jeff Rosen, said in closing arguments that the sheriff was doing his job.