County sher­iff’s deputy be­ing in­ves­ti­gated af­ter claims of sex­ual as­sault

The Covington News - - Front page - DANIELLE EVER­SON deverson@cov­news.com

The New­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice has asked the Ge­or­gia Bureau of In­ves­tiga- tion to in­ves­ti­gate al­le­ga­tions of a deputy be­ing in­volved in a sex­ual as­sault.

GBI spokesman John Bankhead said the NCSO made contact with their of- fice on Fri­day, Aug. 31 to ask for as­sis­tance in the case.

“The sher­iff did re­quest the GBI to in­ves­ti­gate al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual as­sault be­ing made against one of his deputies,” Bankhead said. “Since it’s an on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion, all we do at this point is con­firm [our in­ves­ti­ga­tion].”

Lt. Keith Crum with the NCSO In­ter­nal Af­fairs Division said the NCSO did ask GBI to in­ves­ti­gate the case, but the NCSO will help them out in any way they can.

“It was last Fri­day that we had a com­plainant come for­ward to the sher­iff’s depart­ment mak­ing the al­le­ga­tions against the deputy,” Crum

said.

“There have been no ar­rests and there has been no ac­tion taken as far as charges be­ing filed. Since it was a crim­i­nal act al­leged against the deputy, the sher­iff called in the GBI. They’re the ones who are con­duct­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” he said.

Crum said as soon as the GBI com­pletes the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, they’ll re­port their find­ings to the dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice. He said the NCSO is also con­duct­ing a crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion. He said right now, they are not re­leas­ing the name of the deputy.

“For a deputy’s name to be pub­lished for al­le­ga­tions when it’s [still] un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion is a ca­reer killer,” Crum said. “As soon as the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is com­pleted by the GBI, then it will be­come open records and any in­ter­nal af­fairs records will be open.”

Crum said the deputy has been placed on ad­min­is­tra­tive leave.

“It’s not a pu­n­ish­ment; it’s paid leave, and the pur­pose is so that the ev­i­dence will be pre­served in the re­ports,” Crum said. “Any­thing that the sher­iff’s depart­ment phys­i­cally has can­not be tam­pered with, and they will re­main on leave un­til a dis­po­si­tion is reached.”

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