HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Court documents tied to a lawsuit filed against the Horry County Police Department and the county itself reveal Internal Affairs investigated 14 complaints of unwanted sexual advances and/or assaults levied against county police officers over the span of a decade.
According to court documents filed Jan. 12 in the case of "Jane Doe," the plaintiff's attorneys requested a copy of "any and all Internal Affairs files pertaining to any and all citizen complaints of unwanted sexual advances and/or sexual assaults by any member of the Horry County Police Department from the time period of Jan. 1, 2006 to present."
On Nov. 11, attorneys for the department and the county produced copies of the 14 Internal Affairs files during the time period of 2006 to 2015, the documents stated.
What was not reportedly produced were reports of any "citizen complaints" that did not result in an Internal Affairs investigation.
Since then, Jane Doe's attorneys have gotten sworn testimony from former HCPD Deputy Chief Scott Rutherford, former Capt. Dale Buchanan and former Lt. Chip Squires. The witnesses testified that there was at least one additional Internal Affairs file from that time period that was not produced, according to court documents.
"There was also additional testimony that complaints of improper or illegal conduct by Horry County police officers, including but not limited to 'complaints of unwanted sexual advances and/or sexual assaults' are not always investigated by the Office of Professional Standards," the court documents stated. "In fact, the plaintiff is aware of two incidents involving former Det. Allen Large pertaining to unwanted sexual advances that were investigated 'in house' instead of through the Office of Professional Standards."
The woman identified as Jane Doe filed the lawsuit in December 2015. It states the detective assigned to her case of reported sexual assault, identified as Large, allegedly assaulted her and she was unable to resist the unwanted advances out of fear of retribution.
The case is scheduled to go to trial on Jan. 30, although attorneys for the defendants filed a motion asking for a continuance.
Since this initial lawsuit, four other women have also come forward and made similar misconduct claims against the HCPD. Three of them also allege sexual assault by Large.