COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A former Richland County deputy faces criminal charges, accused of sexually abusing a teenager.
Jamel Bradley was working as a school resource officer at Spring Valley High School when he sexually assaulted a 17-year-old student in 2018, Sheriff Leon Lott said.
Lott said the assault did not happen at the school, but in Bradley’s RCSD patrol car.
The former deputy was arrested at his home Wednesday. He is charged with third degree criminal sexual conduct. He’ll be in court Thursday afternoon.
Lott said the department just learned of the sexual abuse allegations against Bradley last Friday.
“We didn’t ignore this,” Lott said. “As soon as this came to our attention...we got on it.”
However, a federal lawsuit detailing separate sexual assault allegations involving Bradley and another student was filed in October 2018 by the victim’s family. That lawsuit also named RCSD.
That lawsuit is not connected to Bradley’s arrest.
“We don’t know at this point to be able to prove anything or to make any other additional arrests,” Lott said. “But if there are other victims out there and we can make an arrest, we’re going to do that.”
It was the federal lawsuit, however, that caused RCSD to remove Bradley from Spring Valley High School in December 2018, Lott said.
Bradley continued to be a school resource officer until a couple of months ago, when Lott said “something else” came to his attention.
While the deputy was removed from working with children, Bradley was not fired from the department until October 2019. He was fired for interfering with an internal investigation separate from this case, Lott said.
Lott said the investigation is still active and he urges any other victims to come forward.
The sheriff said the case makes him “sick to his stomach.” He apologized to families for employing Bradley as a school resource officer.
“No child should be subjected to this, and I’m disgusted that it happened with someone who was entrusted with protecting our children,” Lott said.
When asked what he has to say to Bradley, Lott said, “I’d like to kill you, but I know I can’t do that.”