An Orangeburg County deputy was fired after a woman alleged he forced her to perform a sex act while he was responding to a domestic dispute, officials say.
Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell stated that when allegations were brought to his attention on June 13, he acted promptly by terminating the now-former deputy. He also contacted SLED to investigate.
“At this time, it would be inappropriate to comment further since this is an ongoing investigation,” Ravenell said in a prepared statement Sunday.
“We have asked the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to conduct an investigation rather than this agency to avoid any sense of impropriety,” he said.
SLED spokesman Thom Berry confirmed Sunday the agency is investigating the allegation.
Neither the name of the deputy nor the woman has been released.
Rep. Justin Bamberg, the woman’s attorney, said he commends the sheriff’s office for “acting quickly in terminating the deputy and turning the investigation over to SLED rather than internally investigating an incident concerning one of their officers.”
A lawsuit is being considered, but “right now, my client’s primary focus is attempting to cope with the trauma of what happened to her,” Bamberg said.
“She’s extremely upset and traumatized. She feels as though she was taken advantage of. Her trust in the police is violated. She feels violated, period,” Bamberg said.
He also claims the woman was not provided assistance through the Sheriff’s Office’s Victim’s Advocate office.
The incident allegedly occurred when the woman’s boyfriend reported a domestic dispute at their Cordova home early on June 12, Bamberg said.
Two sheriff’s office deputies arrived and spoke with the woman and her boyfriend.
One of the deputies took the woman’s boyfriend outside of the home, while the other deputy stayed inside with the woman, Bamberg said.
Inside the residence, the woman explained her version of what led to the domestic dispute.
Bamberg alleges that after the interview, the deputy told the woman that she and her boyfriend were going to jail if she did not perform a sex act on him.
“She pleaded with him, ‘Please don’t do this, my daughter is in the house,'” Bamberg said.
The deputy then allegedly asked the woman for her daughter’s location.
“He peeped in a door of a bedroom where her minor daughter was sleeping,” Bamberg said.
After doing that, the deputy allegedly grabbed the woman, began to put her arm behind her back and grabbed his handcuffs, Bamberg said.
He claims the deputy once again threatened to throw her and her boyfriend in jail if she didn’t perform the act.
That’s when the deputy allegedly pulled her to a back bedroom, becoming more physically aggressive as the woman continued pleading, “Please don’t do this!” Bamberg said.
Afterward, the two deputies left the scene without making any arrests, Bamberg added.
The boyfriend entered the residence and the woman told him what happened.
Her boyfriend urged her to call 911 and she did.