South Carolina

Lawsuit accuses Horry detective of sexually assaulting rape victim

Former Horry County Police Department Detective Troy Allen Large
Former Horry County Police Department Detective Troy Allen Large

A lawsuit filed Wednesday against the Horry County Police Department and former Detective Troy Allen Large accuses the officer of sexually assaulting a woman whose rape case he was assigned to investigate.

The lawsuit also accuses the detective, who worked for the department for more than 27 years, of pressuring the victim to participate in nude, “catfight” videos with other women who were sexual assault victims.

The lawsuit identifies the plaintiff as Jane Doe-2, and was filed by the law firm of Evans Moore. That’s the same Georgetown law office that filed a suit on behalf of another sexual assault victim in December who says she was sexually assaulted by a detective assigned to investigate her case. That officer was not named.

Large could not be reached for comment by phone or at his home in Murrells Inlet.

When Large was initially assigned to the sexual assault case in May, he insisted on meeting with the victim alone and told her she was “beautiful” and could understand how the suspect “would be turned on by her and unable to resist himself,” the lawsuit said.

In exchange for ‘helping’ (the victim), he later demanded that she engage in a nude ‘catfight’ against a specific female as there was a group of men in the area who liked to watch women participate in nude, videotaped fist-fights.

Lawsuit filed against Horry County Police Department

The case was closed by Large, although he never informed the victim he was no longer investigating her report, the lawsuit said.

He continued to make contact with her, and made offers to assist her to regain full custody of her children, offered to move her into a condominium in Murrells Inlet, and provide her with a mode of transportation.

“In exchange for ‘helping’ (the victim), he later demanded that she engage in a nude ‘catfight’ against a specific female as there was a group of men in the area who liked to watch women participate in nude, videotaped fist-fights,” the lawsuit said.

“When (the victim) resisted Detective Large’s requests, he threatened to take personal action to ensure that (the victim) would not be permitted to visit her children,” the lawsuit said.

Large also asked the victim to participate in “catfights” with other women who were victims of violent crimes, the lawsuit said.

“On one occasion while in (the victim’s) residence, Detective Large was videotaped engaging in inappropriate conduct,” the lawsuit said.

That videotape was turned over to the detective’s supervisor, and an investigation by the Horry County Police Department resulted in a written reprimand and referral to counseling to determine if Large was fit for duty, the lawsuit said.

Contact with the victim continued until July 2, when Large is alleged to have sexually assaulted the woman in his police vehicle after offering her a ride to a court hearing in Conway, the lawsuit said.

On one occasion while in (the victim’s) residence, Detective Large was videotaped engaging in inappropriate conduct.

Lawsuit filed against Horry County Police Department

The incident was reported to the Horry County Police Department on July 4, and a second investigation led to his termination for sexual harassment, the lawsuit said.

The Sun News obtained Large’s letter of termination through a Freedom of Information Act request, which confirms the detective was relieved of duty on July 31.

The letter says the July 4 complaint was for “sexual harassment.”

“Due to the findings of this investigation, it is necessary to terminate your employment with the Horry County Police Department effective immediately,” said the letter signed by former Police Chief Saundra Rhodes.

Rhodes stepped down from her position as chief on May 6. Individuals within the Horry County Police Department have been under investigation by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division since November.

Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus described the allegations in the lawsuit filed Wednesday as “horrendous” and admitted there were “a couple of bad apples” in the police department with whom officials have had to deal.

“But as far as being able to police and protect our citizens, that is not a problem,” Lazarus told The Sun News.

“We have a very professional and dedicated police force of several hundred, and the investigations, with those sheer numbers, sometimes that happens. But we are on top of it and taking the right steps and cooperating with authorities.

“Our main concern is for the safety and welfare for our citizens and tourists, and that will not be compromised,” Lazarus said.

In December, the Evans Moore law firm filed a lawsuit on behalf of another rape victim identified as Jane Doe against an unnamed detective, alleging that victim had also been sexually assaulted by the officer assigned to her case.

The third lawsuit filed by a separate law firm says that an unrelated case of sexual assault was not fully investigated by the Horry County Police Department until it was recently reopened as part of an internal review of previous cases earlier this year.

Lazarus said in a statement that the combination of lawsuits, retirements and investigation were “highly unusual circumstances” and asked for the community’s “patience and support” as the agency deals with the situations.

Audrey Hudson: 843-444-1765, @AudreyHudson

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