Veteran detective fired amid sexual harassment allegations
HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The Horry County Police Department terminated a veteran detective due to sustained sexual harassment allegations, according to 2015 internal investigation documents obtained by WMBF News.
In a letter of termination, obtained by WMBF News through an S.C. Freedom of Information Act request, Chief Saundra Rhodes addressed an internal investigation into a complaint filed against Sr. Detective Allen Large. Rhodes stated Det. Large was investigating a case May 21, 2015 through July 4, 2015. The Chief stated a complaint was then filed on July 4, 2015, alleging sexual harassment. In the letter, Rhodes said the allegations were sustained through an internal investigation and phone records. Det. Large was terminated weeks later on July 31, 2015.
A source close to the situation confirms Large is also the unnamed detective in a recent civil suit against Horry County and the Horry County Police Department.
In that December 2015 lawsuit, a plaintiff identified as "Jane Doe" states she called Horry County Police on December 25, 2013 to report a sexual assault by an unknown assailant. She alleges the detective assigned, identified by our source as former Detective Allen Large, insisted on meeting her at her own home the following month.
The complaint, filed by Evans Moore, LLC out of Georgetown, goes on to allege the detective sexually assaulted the Plaintiff.
"Over the course of the next six months, Detective engaged in a course of coercive behavior, unwanted sexual advances, and sexual assault," the suit alleges. "On at least one occasion, the Plaintiff was sexually assaulted by Detective within a police vehicle issued by the Horry County Police Department."
The suit goes on to claim "The Plaintiff was unable to resist the unwanted sexual advances out of fear of retribution."
The Plaintiff also believes the detective "had inappropriately touched and/or sexually abused additional women in connection with his employment as an investigator with the Horry County Police Department."
The lawsuit names both Horry County and the Horry County Police Department as a defendant of gross negligence. It alleges that the department failed to properly train, hire, evaluate, and supervise the detective. The county has since filed an answer to that complaint, denying any involvement.
The Plaintiff is seeking actual and consequential damages, including medical expenses, permanent impairment, mental anguish, and pain and suffering.
SLED Spokesperson Thom Berry confirms the department is currently investigating allegations of a former detective with HCPD. He would not identify the detective being investigated.
Berry says the investigation started on November 4, and is ongoing. Large's termination, due to the sexual harassment allegations, was more than three months prior to the start of the SLED investigation.
Large was employed by Horry County for more than 27 years.
Horry County spokesperson Lisa Bourcier provided this statement when asked for a comment on the situation:
It is County policy not to provide any commentary on substantive matters relating to pending litigation.
Horry County Police spokesman Lt. Raul Denis said he cannot confirm or deny anything, and that the department also cannot comment due to pending litigation.
We made contact with a member of the Large family at their house Wednesday afternoon, asking to speak with Allen Large about the allegations against him. We've been told we will get a phone call from the family.
Horry County Police response to lawsuit filed by alleged sexual assault victim:
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