SAN FRANCISCO — A female cadet’s search of a nearly nude male inmate at an Arizona lockup violated his Fourth Amendment right to be free of unreasonable searches, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said today in a split decision.

In the en banc opinion, the majority, made up of a bloc of mostly liberal judges, focused on the cross-gender aspect of the search, noting the female jailer twice touched the inmate’s penis, scrotum and anus through his underwear during the nonemergency search.

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