Offbeat Lawsuit: Armed Cops Forced Domestic-Violence Victims to Make Fight Videos

21:50  03 july  2018
21:50  03 july  2018 Source:   thedailybeast.com

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“I think that law enforcement very strongly supports domestic violence laws that restrict abusers from obtaining weapons,” Cutilletta told ABC News. “I think that’s because there’s a higher chance of lethality for the victim if the abuser owns a firearm.”

“I like strong women,” former Horry County Police Officer Troy Allen Large said in a March 2016 deposition. “That’s my dark secret.”

But Large, who died earlier this year, had more than just one dark secret during his 27-year tenure at the South Carolina police department.

Large was indicted in September 2016 by a Horry County Grand Jury on 11 counts of misconduct in office and criminal sexual conduct in the third degree for allegedly committing sexual battery against multiple victims and engaging in inappropriate relationships with victims of crimes he was actively investigating.

Large, a former sex-crimes investigator, is accused of using his “position of power to form inappropriate relationships with female victims of violent crime” and then either sexually assaulting them or coercing them into participating in video-recorded, nude catfights, according to a new motion filed last week in U.S. District Court in South Carolina.

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Since domestic abuse is a form of injury, a victim of domestic violence could file a domestic violence lawsuit in civil court. However, once victims realize their position, they are ready to fight back.

The 30-page motion claims police officials were aware of the accusations against its officers—and that the department failed to address it.

The motion stems from one of several lawsuits filed by female victims of Large against the late Large, Horry County, the Horry County Police Department, the county’s ex-Police Chief Saundra Rhodes, former Deputy Chief Scott Rutherford, and ex-officers Chip Squires and Dale Buchanan.

During that five-hour March 2016 deposition, according to ABC 15 News, Large denied he ever made “sexual advances” toward the women involved in his “nude catfight” videos and claimed he never actually recorded the fights himself. He did, however, concede that he encouraged the women to participate.

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“I like watching the videos of women engaged boxing, MMA, catfight, wrestling,” he said.

“There’s businesses,” he said, referring to companies that professionally film such catfights. “It’s not illegal. Some people like it. It’s a fetish. It’s embarrassing. I don’t know why. I think it’s neat. I like Rhonda Rousey. I like that.”

Large was assigned to investigate Rachel’s domestic assault in March 1998, after her then-husband shot her five times—once in the hip and four times through the hand. After she remarried, Rachel’s new husband threatened her and other members of her family with a firearm in 2015. Large was, once again, assigned to investigate the case. Instead, Large “engaged in a pattern of sexual abuse and coercive behavior,” according to the court documents.

Between January 2015 and December 2015, Large assaulted Rachel more than 50 times, her motion claims. During that same time period, he began coercing her into participating in a “nude, sexual fetish ‘catfight’ video with another female victim of domestic abuse” inside the home of another law enforcement officer in Asheville, North Carolina, her lawsuit claims.

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a man wearing a suit and tie © Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

Large held the camera, according to the lawsuit.

Rachel “felt incapable of leaving due to the presence of armed law enforcement officers at this fight,” according to the motion. Cellphone footage later allegedly showed that Large engaged in “inappropriate contact” with Rachel while he was working.

Rachel dismissed her lawsuit against Large after his death, but has maintained her complaints against the city and police department.

On Christmas Eve in 2013, Erin reported to police that she was held at gunpoint and forced to perform a sex act on her assailant. Three days later, Detective Large contacted her, ostensibly to investigate her case. Over the next six months, the detective “engaged in a course of coercive behavior, unwanted sexual advances, and sexual assault” toward her.

Large closed Erin’s initial cases as “unfounded,” but he did not stop the alleged misconduct.

On one occasion, Large allegedly assaulted Erin on the way home from a court hearing. On another, he attacked her on the front porch of her own home. Erin has said, according to the motion submitted last month, that Large displayed his police badge and police-issued firearm during these attacks.

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Alyssa called the Horry County Police Department on May 19, 2015, after she was kidnapped and raped, according to the motion. Detective Large was assigned to her case but almost immediately—instead of investigating the crime—offered to pay Alyssa for a sex act or to let him watch her fight other women. Large allegedly told Alyssa that he wanted to watch her perform a sex act on other law-enforcement officers. He eventually coerced her into performing a sex act, according to the motion.

Emma was just 20 and suffering from heroin addiction when she was contacted by the detective, according to the motion. Large quickly “made it clear that he had accessed the police database and discussed her prior arrests and reported history of childhood sexual abuse which had been previously investigated by the Horry County Police Department,” according to the motion.

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Large allegedly appeared at Emma’s home the next day, entered her bedroom, put his firearm next to her heroin needles, and forced her to submit to sex acts.

“In the months that followed, Detective Large regularly contacted [Emma] about participating in fights with other women; touched her inappropriately on multiple occasions; and took her to purchase heroin which she carried in his police vehicle,” according to the motion.

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The video was dashcam footage of what he and his client, a young black woman by the name of Charnesia Corley, alleged to be “rape by a cop .” Cammack was compelled to make the video public after Pierre and Strong were cleared of official oppression by a grand jury.

Eventually, Emma’s mother called the department and spoke with one of the detective’s supervisors. She allegedly told officials that the detective had been picking up her daughter and bringing her home high on drugs.

The city, and the police department’s leaders, all named as defendants in the suit, allegedly had “actual and constructive knowledge of Detective Large’s unconstitutional behavior stemming back as far as 2003, yet took no appropriate action.”

According to the motion, Large’s father-in-law sent a letter to the department’s internal affairs investigators claiming that the now-deceased detective had an unlimited supply of county vehicles, which he was using to stalk female victims.

“The facts and evidence show that the individual defendants,” according to the motion, “who all served as supervisors of Detective Large, had actual notice of Detective Large’s propensity to abuse his position of power; actual knowledge of Detective Large having previously used this position of power to form unconstitutional sexual relationships with female victims of crime; and specific knowledge of Detective Large’s unconstitutional, sexualized contact with Plaintiff Jane Doe-3, yet took no action to stop it, amounting to tacit authorization of the acts.”

Eventually, the motion argues, “there was widespread knowledge throughout the department, particularly with detective Large’s supervisors, that [he] was exhibiting predatory behavior toward female victims of crime.”

Large was fired in July 2015, but the problem wasn’t specific to one detective.

Three other former officers were indicted on charges, including misconduct in office, for failing to properly investigate alleged crimes. All three pleaded not guilty.

Between Jan. 1, 2006, and Sept. 26, 2016, 13 independent internal investigations—excluding the ones involving the catfight fan—were ordered to probe reports of sexual misconduct by Horry County police officers against members of the public, according to the motion.

According to the motion, some officers in those investigations that were suspected of misconduct were allowed to resign in lieu of termination and transfer to other police departments without a record of the misdeeds.

Large died of “natural causes” on Jan. 10, 2018, at the age of 55. He was under house arrest at the time of his death.

The county has refused to comment on the case to local reporters, citing pending litigation.

*Each of these women were given a pseudonymous name by The Daily Beast and are identified in the lawsuits as Jane Does 1-4.

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