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Lawsuits alleging misconduct by former detective transferred to federal court

(Source: HCPD Facebook page) (Source: HCPD Facebook page)
Former HCPD detective Allen Large gives a deposition regarding lawsuits against him. (Source: Southern Reporting) Former HCPD detective Allen Large gives a deposition regarding lawsuits against him. (Source: Southern Reporting)
Former Horry County Police Chief Saundra Rhodes. (Source: HCPD) Former Horry County Police Chief Saundra Rhodes. (Source: HCPD)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Three lawsuits filed by alleged victims of misconduct by former Horry County Police detective Troy Allen Large have been transferred to federal court at the request of the attorney representing Horry County Police officials, according to documents obtained by WMBF News.

Two of the lawsuits were filed against Large, former police Chief Saundra Rhodes and other high-ranking members of the department, and allege that Large engaged in a pattern of unwanted sexual advances and sexual assault against victims whose cases were assigned to him. Those suits also allege that Large encouraged the women to participate in nude, filmed sexual fetish “cat fights." 

The Horry County police officials are also named in the lawsuits because it is alleged that they knew this misconduct was occurring and did not take appropriate action against Large.

Attorneys representing Large, Rhodes and other members of the department filed answers to the lawsuits denying the victims' allegations, stating that there is no proof of misconduct by Large, or inaction by the department.

Large has also filed counterclaims against two of the plaintiffs. Large's attorney said they were recently served the third lawsuit and are working to file that counterclaim.

In one counterclaim, he is seeking attorney fees and damages under the Frivolous Proceedings Act and federal law, saying the damages the plaintiff wants are excessive and unwarranted.

That lawsuit from Jane Doe and John Doe said the Horry County Police Department didn’t properly investigate the rape of the then-15-year-old Jane Doe several years ago and didn’t make an arrest at the time despite overwhelming evidence. It said the girl did not tell her parents or authorities about the rape until nearly one year later due to shock, fear and psychological damage.

The counterclaim said the girl wasn’t that upset when reporting the crime, but her mother was.

It said the report had no evidence, such as a rape kit, and Large closed the case with HCPD approval due to a lack of evidence.

In the other counterclaim for the lawsuit from Jane Doe 2, Large is seeking rewards for damages from slander.

That lawsuit said Large was assigned to investigate a rape and ended up coercing the victim to participate in nude catfights as well as sexually assaulted her inside his Horry County vehicle after offering to transport her to a court appearance.

However, the counterclaim said the two were never alone during that time because Jane Doe 2’s boyfriend was there.

It also said Jane Doe 2 has significant mental issues and a criminal record.

The counterclaim goes on to say Large tried helping Jane Doe 2 make better life decisions.

At one point, they cut ties because Large decided he couldn’t help her anymore and that’s when the counterclaim said her false statements came out.

Large's attorney said they are looking forward to proving the allegations made in their counterclaims.

A notice filed this month on behalf of Large, Rhodes, and other defendants in the case seeks to remove these suits from Horry County Court of Common Pleas and transfer them to the United States District Court because the victims, identified only as Jane Doe and John Doe, Jane Doe 2 and Jane Doe 3, allege that the defendants violated their constitutional rights. Because the cases involve a federal question, they have been removed from Horry County court and are going to the Florence Division of U.S. District Court.

A court official confirmed that the cases were transferred to federal civil court by virtue of the notice to remove them from Horry County court.

A scheduling order for Jane Doe and John Doe said jury selection wouldn't happen for a trial until July 3, 2017 at the earliest.

Attorney James B. Moore, of the law firm representing the three victims, has previously provided this statement: "We believe this detective preyed on the most vulnerable of women, exploiting his police badge to keep them quiet. It's downright shameful. I applaud Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 for shedding light on this injustice. Unfortunately, we expect more women to come forward in the coming months."

Horry County Spokesperson Lisa Bourcier previously provided this comment when asked about another related lawsuit: "It is county policy not to provide any commentary on matters relating to any pending litigation."

Related Stories:

Victim claims former Horry Co. detective took her to nude ‘catfights’ in NC

Lawsuit: S.C. detective demanded rape victim participate in nude 'catfights'

Lawsuit claims HCPD leadership failed to act on detective's sexual assault allegations

Deposition of former HCPD detective brings another victim to light

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