Campus Brief

PHILADELPHIA (MCT) – A Bryn Mawr College student wrongly jailed for three weeks on drug charges by Philadelphia police has settled her civil-rights case for $180,000.

Janet H. Lee, now a senior, was arrested at Philadelphia International Airport in 2003 after screeners found three condoms filled with white powder in her carry-on and city police said field tests showed that the substances likely contained opium and cocaine.

Lee was held in lieu of $500,000 bond for 21 days, until further drug testing proved that her unlikely story – that the powder was just flour – was true.

As part of an exam ritual in her dorm, Lee had filled the condoms with flour to make a phallic toy that freshmen squeezed to reduce stress. She had found it so funny that she had packed them to take home to show friends after exams.

Lee’s civil-rights case against the city had been scheduled for trial Thursday in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.

“Everyone wants their day in court, so it was difficult” to settle, in part because she will never know why the flour initially tested positive for drugs, she said Wednesday.

“It’s like everyone was at fault, but no one was responsible,” Lee said.

At least, she said, the settlement means she will not have to testify about what it is like to spend three weeks in jail for a crime she did not commit, particularly after spending much of the last three years working to heal herself psychologically.