By Jess Bidgood
BOSTON -- A woman whose 1991 illegal strip-search cast a permanent shadow over the congressional campaign of state Rep. Jeff Perry has broken a silence that lasted almost two decades.
Lisa Allen was 14 when she was illegally strip-searched by then-Wareham police officer Scott Flanagan. Flanagan was convicted of a civil rights violation and indecent assault of a child in 1993.
Perry was on the scene, and his degree of responsibility for the incident has been a lingering question throughout his campaign against Democratic District Attorney Bill Keating for the congressional seat in Massachusetts' 10th district.
In a written statement, Allen accused Perry of failing to stop a crime he could have prevented.
"Perry knew what Flanagan did, he had to hear me screaming and crying," Allen wrote.
Shortly after the assault was said to have occured, Perry claimed no such thing had happened. "Even after Scott Flanagan admitted the truth under oath and pled guilty, Perry never apologized for allowing Flanagan to abuse me," Allen said. "Perry did not care about protecting teen-aged girls in Wareham from police officer Flagan. Jeff Perry cared only about protecting police officer Flanagan."
Allen explained that Perry's run for Congress motivated her to speak out. "I cannot stand by silently any longer while what happened to me is discussed in the press," she wrote. "It upsets me that Jeff Perry can run for Congress after what he did to me when I was fourteen years old."
The Associated Press reports that Perry on Wednesday called Flanagan's actions "despicable and wrong," but did not respond to the accusation that he failed to stop them.
Lisa Allen's statement on Jeff Perry
MORE MASS DECISION 2010
Comment on This Article
Subscribe to WGBH News Emails
Support for WGBH is provided by:Become a WGBH sponsor