DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. — A deputy with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office has been arrested and charged in connection with a sexual assault and violating his oath of office, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced Tuesday.
Last October, the sheriff's office asked the GBI to investigate an incident that happened on Sept. 17, 2021.
The GBI said the 27-year-old was assigned to the jail when he allegedly had "inappropriate sexual contact with a female inmate at the jail."
The sheriff's office said he was hired by the agency on May 13, 2021 and was assigned to the jail division. He was officially sworn in as a deputy on Sept. 13, 2021 and was awaiting reassignment.
During that time, the sheriff's office received a complaint from a woman in the jail. The inmate said the deputy used his cell phone to take nude photographs of her in her cell in July 2021, according to sheriff's office investigators.
An internal investigation revealed the deputy did take his cell phone into the cell block, but the Office of Professional Standards could "not determine with certainty" that the deputy used it to photograph the woman. The sheriff's office said the deputy's employment was put on a probationary status on October 20, 2021.
Following the deputy's dismissal, another inmate came forward and said he forced her to perform sexual acts on him while she was in custody, according to the sheriff's office. The sheriff asked the GBI to step in and conduct a criminal investigation, they said.
"We assisted the GBI with any request for documents and video surveillance but was not involved in the criminal investigation other than that," the sheriff's office said in a statement.
The GBI said the has been booked into the Douglas County Jail and its investigation remains active and ongoing.
According to the sheriff's office, the deputy in question faced a judge Wednesday. A judge granted him $200,000 bond and he is required to wear a tracking device if he makes bail, authorities said.
Sheriff Tim Pounds said he wants to send a message to all of his employees and the community.
“I’ve said this before and I’m going to say it again. As long as you follow the law and my policy I will back you 110%; however, if you step outside the law or the policy you are on your own," he said in a statement. "If you violate the law, you, like everyone else will have to suffer the consequences of your actions.”
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the GBI Atlanta Regional Office at (770) 388-5019. Anonymous tips can also be submitted by calling 1-800-597-TIPS (8477), online or by downloading the See Something, Send Something mobile app.
Once the GBI finishes its investigation, it will turn its findings over to the Douglas County District Attorney's Office.