HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A federal judge will allow for evidence to be presented at trial to show the Horry County Police Department was allegedly negligent in its supervision of former detective Allen Large, who was accused of sexual assault and misconduct while in office.
The opinion was entered Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Marvin Quattlebaum and was in response to the county's and the HCPD's motion for summary judgment in separate lawsuits filed by "Jane Doe 3" and "Jane Doe 4."
In both opinions, the judge notes the women provided sufficient evidence to show the county and the HCDP needed to "exercise control of Detective Large prior to his alleged misconduct occurring from January 2015 to December 2015."
That evidence included a letter from Large's father-in-law alleging he used county vehicles for "stalking purposes" and that he spent months "nurturing a female crime victim" in a case he was investigating, which included moving her into his home while his wife was out of town, according to court documents.
"While Defendants argue that this letter constitutes admissible hearsay, the Court makes no finding about the ultimate admissibility of the letter at this time," the ruling states. "However, it is at least possible that the letter is not inadmissible hearsay or that some hearsay exceptions might apply."
The plaintiffs also reference the HCPD conducting a formal Internal Affairs investigation in June 2014 after "Jane Doe 1" reported Large's alleged sexual misconduct directly to the department after she was arrested on drug charges.
While the HCPD closed the investigation as unfounded, the report indicated that Large admitted to paying for Jane Doe 1's prescriptions on a number of occasions, he frequented her home after the case was closed, and he attempted to touch her inappropriately, according to court records.
The plaintiffs' argued those findings in the IA report were "sufficient to place a reasonable supervisory officer on notice that Detective Large was abusing his authority as a law enforcement officer and that this abuse was most likely related to his sexual desires," the orders state.
Additionally, the judge ruled for the plaintiffs in their attempts to hold the county and the HCPD "vicariously liable for Detective Large's intentional conduct."
The judge did grant the defendants summary judgment in both cases on the issue that they couldn't be held vicariously liable for the "intentional tortious conduct and alleged criminal activity of Detective Large."
Large was fired from the Horry County Police Department in 2015 amid sexual harassment allegations sustained through an internal investigation. He was later indicted on six counts of misconduct in office and five counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Up until his death in January 2018, Large maintained his innocence.
He denied sexually assaulting anyone, though he did admit to asking female crime victims if they wanted to make money by participating in nude, sexual fetish cat-fights with other women.
Attorney Scott Evans, who is representing the plaintiffs, said he can't give any statement on the judge's ruling with the trial looming.
A specific trial date has not been set, but the judge previously asked the parties for their availability in October, November and December.