Horry County Police Department responds to lawsuit alleging sexual assault, misconduct

Horry County Police Department responds to lawsuit alleging sexual assault, misconduct
Former HCPD detective Allen Large gives a deposition regarding lawsuits against him. (Source: Southern Reporting)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The Horry County Police Department issued a response to a lawsuit Tuesday filed by an Horry County woman alleging sexual assault and misconduct by several high-ranking members of the department.

According to the official response filed with the United States District Court for the district of South Carolina Florence Division, the plaintiff, known as Jane Doe 4, alleged she was the victim of inappropriate conduct, unwanted sexual advances and was asked to participate in nude catfight videos by former HCPD Detective Allen Large.

She is the most recent of four women to make similar allegations. The defendants are former Chief Saundra Rhodes, former Deputy Chief Scott Rutherford and Large's other supervising officers: Thomas Delpercio, William Squires and Dale Buchanan. Horry County and HCPD are also named as defendants.

HCPD pleads that Jane Doe 4's "comparative negligence and recklessness" are factors in this case. The responses states HCPD may retain an expert witness in the field of law enforcement, but has not yet done so. Also, HCPD is entitled to sovereign immunity from suit pursuant to the 11th amendment

HCPD allege any injuries sustained by Jane Doe 4 in the incident were her own doing – the response states:

Any injuries sustained by the plaintiff insofar as the incident complained of was voluntarily initiated by the plaintiff.

HCPD asserts an award of punitive damages against the department would violate both the United States and South Carolina constitutions.

The document states discovery in the case will be completed by June 16, 2017 and mediation will take place by July 17, 2017. The case is subject to being called for jury selection or trial after Dec. 30, 2017.

HCPD gave notice of removal of the case to federal jurisdiction in September.

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