“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.”