Tracy Stephens (Source: Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center)
RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) -
A former Richland County deputy is out of a job and in trouble with the law after allegedly forcing a woman to expose herself and touch herself inappropriately in exchange for help with criminal charges.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said Tracy Stephens, 31, was terminated and arrested Thursday, eight days after a woman he took into custody during a traffic stop filed a complaint against the deputy.
According to Lott, the incident happened on May 15. A spokesperson for the department says Stephens conducted a traffic stop on the unidentified woman around 2:30 a.m.
The woman initially ran from Stephens, but was eventually taken into custody and charged with DUI, simple possession of marijuana and driving under suspension, deputies said.
After being booked into the jail she filed a formal complaint about the circumstances of the arrest.
The Sheriff's Internal Affairs Division immediately reviewed the complaint, and working with the Department's Criminal Investigations Division, determined that Stephens did in fact force the victim to expose herself to him, touch herself inappropriately and did tell her that he would help her with her charges if she would comply with his requests, Lott said.
The sheriff stressed all citizen concerns will be investigated thoroughly and action will be taken if warranted.
"The fact that one person decided to misuse his authority and victimize a citizen does not reflect the exceptional people that work for the Richland County Sheriff's Department," said Lott.