Documents show 13 investigations into sexual misconduct by Horry County police officers
Horry County, S.C. (WPDE) —
New court documents show that Horry County Police officials were not only aware of sexual misconduct allegations against its officers, but that they failed to take any action to address it, according to a motion filed in federal court.
Court documents show that between Jan. 1, 2006 to September 26, 2016 there were 13 independent internal investigations into reports of sexual misconduct by officers of the Horry County Police Department towards members of the public.
Some of those officers were allowed to resign in lieu of termination, thereby permitting these officers to transfer to other police departments or employment without record of their misconduct, according to court documents.
The new information came from a 30-page motion filed by Jane Doe 3 against Horry County, Horry County police, former Police Chief Saundra Rhodes, former deputy chief Scott Rutherford, William Squires and Dale Buchanan in response to their motion to dismiss the case.
Jane Doe 3, and at least three other women, have filed suit against the department stating that they did not investigate claims that former Detective Troy Allen Large was not investigating cases, closing them without investigation and sexually assaulting victims of the cases he was tasked to investigate.
The documents also state that if the department would have investigated the first claims of sexual assault against Large, then no other women would have been put at risk, according to court documents filed in federal court.
Jane Doe 3 states in the motion that the Defendants had “actual and constructive knowledge of Detective Large’s unconstitutional behavior stemming back as far as 2003, yet took no appropriate action.”
It also alleges that some of the Defendants had knowledge of former detective Troy Allen Large’s unconstitutional actions dating back to 2002.
The original lawsuit filed in June 2016 by Jane Doe 3 states that the Horry County Police Department allowed former detective Troy Allen Large to abuse female crime victims under the guise of the department and did not take any action against him.
The lawsuit also states that throughout the winter of 2015, Large coerced Jane Doe 3 to participate in nude, sexual-fetish "cat fights," and, on at least one occasion, Large drove Jane Doe 3 to Asheville, N.C. to participate in a cat fight and he video-taped the encounter, according to the lawsuit.
Large died in January 2018. The lawsuit against Large by Jane Doe 3 was dismissed after his death.
In the new court documents, it states that tapes of the cat-fights were given to the Defendants’ attorneys as part of the discovery process along with a second, nude sexual fetish “catfight” video that was taped at former Detective Troy Allen Large’s home.
The motion also references a letter sent from Large’s father-in-law to police internal affairs investigators and Rutherford that states Large had an unlimited supply of county vehicles, which he used for stalking.
The motion also retells another person's claims, known as Jane Doe 1, who says she was also a victim of sexual assault by Large. It also retells the claims of Jane Doe 2 and Jane Doe 4.
The investigation into Jane Doe 1’s case was closed as “unfounded” at the direction of former Chief Rhodes, according to court documents, but that the investigation should have raised serious indicators/red flags.
The documents further state that Rhodes prevented the internal affairs investigator from further looking into the matter and essentially directed him to base the outcome of the investigation solely on whether Detective Large confessed to any wrongdoing.
The documents allege that a proper investigation into Jane Doe 1’s case could have prevented the sexual assault on Jane Doe 3 and other women, including Jane Doe 4, who has also filed a lawsuit.
The case against the department is still pending.
The documents state that Jane Doe-3 will dismiss all claims against Thomas Delpercio, who was previously named in the lawsuits, in a separate court filing.
ABC 15 reached out to the county for comment, but they said they don’t comment on pending litigation.