“Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark Requests SLED Assistance in Investigation Involving Mile Creek Park”

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On December 11, 2017, Sheriff Rick Clark submitted a request to the SC Law Enforcement Division for their assistance in the investigation of criminal allegations involving a former inmate trustee assigned to a work detail at Mile Creek Park.

Sheriff Clark was approached by the parents of a sixteen year old son in September of this year at which time the Sheriff’s Office first learned of allegations that their son had been sexually assaulted while working part-time during the summer months at Mile Creek Park.

Preliminary information given to the Sheriff at that time indicated that the activity occurred at the park while the alleged victim was assigned to a work detail alongside an inmate from the Pickens County Prison.

Just days following the initial complaint by the parents, the Sheriff’s Office was requested by the family’s attorney to temporarily suspend the criminal investigation for personal reasons.

In late November, the Sheriff’s Office was informed that the family of the victim wished to proceed with the investigation and on December 4, 2017, detectives with the Sheriff’s Office were able to interview the alleged victim for the first time.

Since that interview, the Sheriff’s Office has continued to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the allegations and have determined that the case does contain basic information that would merit an in-depth investigation to determine what, if any, criminal violations may have occurred.

Yesterday, the Sheriff’s Office received confirmation from the SC Law Enforcement Division that they had accepted the investigation and Sheriff’s detectives have already started to engage in conversations with SLED agents to facilitate the transfer of all information to SLED.

Sheriff Clark stated…

“This case contains allegations involving a juvenile that was working at a county facility in the presence of other county employees from departments within Pickens County Government.  

A former inmate from the Pickens County Prison/Stockade is being accused of physically assaulting the sixteen year old while both were assigned to a work detail.  

Though, I do not manage, supervise or have any authority over any of the potential witnesses or the former inmate that has been identified by the alleged victim, I feel that it would be improper for the Sheriff’s Office to proceed any further with this investigation due to our relationship with those departments and any of their employees. 

As with any allegation of criminal conduct, our first obligation is to ensure that the investigation is conducted in a fair and impartial manner. 

It is for this reason that I feel compelled to ask for outside assistance from a neutral and detached agency to avoid any appearance of impropriety.”


“Pickens County Sheriff’s Office to be Dropped from Lawsuit”

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Recently, various networks including local newspapers have reported on a lawsuit filed in the 13th Judicial Court of Common Pleas against Pickens County that alleges improper supervision and conduct of inmate trustees at Mile Creek Park in Six Mile.

Details from those news stories also indicated that the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office was being named in the litigation for various reasons due to the inmates were from the Pickens County Detention Center which is under the supervision and control of the Pickens County Sheriff.

Upon learning of these allegations, the Sheriff’s Office immediately contacted the law firm representing the Plaintiff in this case and informed them that at no time were any inmate trustees from the Pickens County Detention Center ever assigned to perform any duties at Mile Creek Park.

Furthermore, the Sheriff’s Office never entered into any such agreement as alleged with any other county department as stated in the lawsuit. Inmates assigned to the detention center do not perform any work assignments offsite from the Law Enforcement Center.

After consulting with the attorney for the Plaintiff, it has been determined that the allegation is directed towards the Pickens County Prison commonly referred to as the Stockade and not the Pickens County Detention Center.

The Sheriff’s Office does not manage any of the operations, the staff or the inmate population at the Pickens County Prison and the county employees assigned to that facility are not employees of the Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office has been informed by White, Davis and White Law Firm in Anderson that the pending lawsuit will be amended and all allegations against the Sheriff’s Office will be removed.

Creed W. Hashe, Chief Deputy