Sumter Co. sheriff hires independent attorney to investigate his own sexual assault allegations

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Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 8:36 PM EST
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SUMTER, S.C. (WIS) - The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office announced the department has hired a former U.S. Attorney to investigate decades-old rape and sexual assault allegations against the sheriff from a former employee.

The sheriff’s attorney says Sheriff Anthony Dennis denies all allegations against him. The attorney, however, also says every individual should have their cases investigated, so Sheriff Dennis is no different.

A female lieutenant alleged the sheriff raped her in his home in 1997 and inappropriately touched her in 2004, and the allegations were brought to the attention of the department in a special report published by the Post and Courier newspaper.

The sheriff’s attorney has chosen to employ Peter McCoy to investigate the alleged allegations, a former U.S. attorney, member of the House of Representatives, and prosecutor of the 9th judicial circuit.

“Sheriff Dennis believes in transparency and more importantly he believes all individuals should have their cases thoughtfully investigated; the sheriff is no exception to this policy,” Sean Kent said.

SLED issued a statement saying the investigation into the allegations is open and active.

“It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time while our agents continue to investigate,” a SLED statement said.

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office says this investigation involving the sheriff will be “business as usual,” and other investigations are welcome from SLED at this time.

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