County settles civil suits claiming police mishandled detective's sexual misconduct
HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Horry County has reached a settlement with "Jane Doe One," one of several women to file lawsuits claiming that the county's police department mishandled alleged sexual assault and misconduct by a former detective.
Jane Doe One's common pleas case was scheduled to head to trial Tuesday. The attorneys for the woman confirmed the defendants, Horry County and the Horry County Police Department, reached a settlement in both the common pleas case filed in December 2015, and the federal case filed in December 2016.
"It's not unusual for cases to settle once all parties are ready to move forward when you've got the jury ready to listen in and participate," said James B. Moore III, Jane Doe's lawyer. "It's very common for cases to settle at the eve of trial or at the courthouse steps."
Moore said the plaintiff's legal team was prepared for a trial and did not expect to settle Tuesday.
"Every case that we as a firm accept, we prepare for trial," Moore said. "We were prepared to try this case today. But there comes to a certain point where it's got to be up to the client whether to accept a settlement or to move forward and put that in the hands of 12 strangers, and we support her decision."
He said trial negotiations had been going on for the past several weeks.
"Now I think the numbers changed and we got the case resolved," Moore said.
The settlement amount is remaining confidential because Jane Doe One wants it to be, Moore said.
Horry County spokesperson Lisa Bourcier said the county cannot talk about pending litigation, which she said this falls under. She added the amount of the settlement isn't being released because that is part of the settlement.
Attorney Scott Evans said the law firm is moving forward with the other Jane Doe cases they filed. He said depositions are scheduled for Friday for the cases of Jane Doe Two, Three and Four.
Jane Doe One still needs to prepare for potential testimony in three other Jane Doe cases the Moore Evans Law Firm has filed, as well as the criminal case against former detective Allen Large, who has been charged with six counts of misconduct in office and five counts of criminal sexual conduct.
Evans said even his office doesn't know if those charges involve Jane Doe One.
"One of the most important chapters is yet to come, the criminal case and whether or not she's called to testify because she is ready, willing and able to do that," Evans said. "I don't think there will be any closure until there's closure in the criminal case."
Even then, Moore said closure is never really complete.
"I don't think it's over and done," Moore said. "She's going to live with the trauma that Det. Large put her through for the rest of her life."
Jane Doe One was one of six women, plus a woman's father, suing the department and county in connection to Large's alleged misconduct.
She claimed Large made unwelcome sexual advances and sexually assaulted her at least once in a police vehicle while working as a detective assigned to her case. The plaintiff said she could not resist the unwanted advances out of fear of retribution.
This would have been the first of seven lawsuits involving Large to go to trial, although he was not named as a defendant in the case that was set for trial Tuesday.
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