Horry County Police officials knew about multiple allegations of sexual misconduct by officers and took no action to address them, a failure that resulted in more women being sexually assaulted by officers over a 10-year period, according to court documents released last week.
The allegations were part of a motion filed by Jane Doe 3, one of several women who have filed lawsuits against the police department claiming officials did not investigate claims that former Detective Troy Large sexually assaulted women who were victims in cases that were assigned to him.
According to the newly released documents, this directly led to other women being put at risk of assault.
Horry County Police Department conducted 13 investigations into reports of sexual misconduct by police officers between 2006 and 2016 but took no action to address the claims. Instead, the department allowed officers to resign, and some of them transferred to other law enforcement agencies that were not told of the alleged misconduct.
Several Women Accused Horry County Police Detective of Sexual Assault
Jane Doe 3’s original lawsuit claimed that in 2015, Large forced her to take part in sexual-fetish “cat fights,” which are essentially wrestling matches between naked women.
Large was accused of driving Jane Doe 3 to the home of a police officer in Asheville, NC, for a cat fight that was recorded on video. The woman said Large assaulted her more than 50 times.
Large was fired in 2015 after internal affairs investigator Matthew Darrah discovered text messages discussing cat fights on the detective’s phone, and Large admitted to asking women who were victims of crimes to participate in cat fights. The detective denied all allegations of assault and forcing the women to participate.
Smells Like A Cover-up …
HCPD did not request a State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) investigation into the allegations against Large until four months after the detective’s termination.
Large was charged with five counts of third-degree criminal sexual misconduct and six counts of misconduct in office after SLED’s investigation detailed accounts from the women. They said he met them while working on their cases and wooed them with dinners and unannounced visits with gifts before asking them for sex. Eventually, he asked them to participate in recorded cat fights.
The lawsuit and criminal charges against Large were dropped after the detective’s death in January.
Other Jane Does Made Similar Claims
The new court documents also reference claims made by other women who say they were assaulted by Large, including Jane Doe 1, whose case was labeled “unfounded” and closed at the direction of former HCPD Chief Saundra Rhodes, who is also named in the lawsuit.
Also named in the lawsuit is former HCPD deputy Scott Rutherford, who was informed of Large’s sexual misconduct 15 years ago, when Large’s father-in-law told police officials that Large had moved a rape victim into his own house while his wife was out of town and that he regularly used county vehicles to stalk women.
Horry County officials launched internal investigations of Large’s behavior, including using GPS devices to monitor his whereabouts. But other officers – including supervisors – tipped him off, undermining the investigation.
A federal judge ruled last week that sufficient evidence exists for a lawsuit against Horry County Police Department to go forward.
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