Ryan Bundy, a leader of armed standoffs in Oregon and Nevada, has sued the government claiming he has been subjected to excessive body cavity searches while in custody.
In a lawsuit filed in federal district court in Nevada this week, Bundy said he has been forced to undergo more than 100 cavity and strip searches since he was arrested in January near the end of the occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuse“
Plaintiff Bundy has been forced and threatened to bend over and expose his anus by spreading his buttock cheeks wide open while Defendant Doe’s [sic] peer up into Mr. Bundy’s rear body cavity hundreds of times,” Bundy, who is representing himself in the case, wrote. “Defendant Doe” refers to a corrections officer.
Bundy is currently being held at a private detention facility in Pahrump, Nev., that is contracted by the U.S. Marshals Service.
He was acquitted last October on charges stemming from the 41-day Oregon occupation last year (Greenwire, Oct. 28, 2016). He is now awaiting trial for the 2014 armed standoff at his father’s family ranch in Bunkerville, Nev.
In the court filing, Bundy describes himself as “a forty-four year old man living on the land know [sic] as the state of Nevada; happily married with eight healthy children” and says he has been repeatedly forced into solitary confinement.
When he has refused to be strip searched, Bundy “has been forced to endure no working toilet and no toilet paper” in a “disciplinary segregation cell.”
The lawsuit is filed against the government, Corrections Corporation of America — which operates the detention facility in Nevada — and that facility’s warden, Charlotte Collins.
Bundy has made unusual legal moves since the Oregon standoff. During the trial in Portland, he sought to have his court-appointed attorney dismissed from his defense and unsuccessfully attempted to subpoena Oregon’s governor.
In the new lawsuit, Bundy also asserted that his treatment is “in retaliation for Bundy’s protests against the Federal Government which garnered national attention from 2014 to the present.”
He argues that the searches amount to cruel and unusual punishment and violate several constitutional rights. And he claims that the treatment has prevented him from working on his legal defense.
“Over 100 searches within several months is shockingly punitive and arises to the level of undue punishment under the facts of the instant case,” he wrote.
Bundy also commented on the charges he faced in Oregon, as well as the upcoming trial in Nevada.