A third lawsuit was filed late Monday against the Horry County Police Department, claiming former Detective Troy Allen Large coerced a domestic violence victim to participate in nude, sexual-fetish catfights.
The lawsuit was filed by the victim identified only as Jane Doe 3, who was abused by two different husbands, and shot numerous times by one of them.
The lawsuit says Large engaged in a pattern of unwanted sexual encounters against her will, and at one point videotaped an arranged catfight between Jane Doe 3 and another woman in North Carolina.
Two other lawsuits targeting Large have been filed since December that claim two victims were sexually assaulted by Large and also encouraged to participate in the catfight videos.
Individuals within the Horry County Police Department have been the subject of an investigation by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED). Former Horry County Police Chief Saundra Rhodes confirms that at least four officers were reported to SLED for investigation.
Rhodes was allowed to collect early retirement from the department after the county paid $60,000 into her state account, and stepped down from the chief position May 6. Rhodes’ deputy chief, Scott Rutherford, retired from his position June 6.
Both Rhodes and Rutherford were named as defendants in an amended lawsuit filed May 31 by Jane Doe 2. and are named as defendants in the Jane Doe 3 lawsuit.
Other Horry County Police officials named as defendants in the Jane Doe 3 lawsuit include Thomas DelPercio, William Squires, and Dale Buchanan.
Horry County spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier has declined to comment on the legal action.
Large denied in a sworn deposition that he sexually assaulted Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2, who filed lawsuits in December and May.
The former detective admits that he encouraged the three women to participate in catfight videos, a sexual fetish in which women fight each other and tear off clothing, and that some catfights have been held at his home.
Large says he drove Jane Doe 3 to Asheville, North Carolina to participate in one catfight, which he videotaped.
Large was asked by the Jane Doe’s lawyer during the March deposition if he knew Jane Doe 3 was a battered woman
“I knew her husband shot her and he went to prison for it, there was some kind of domestic situation with her new husband and she wanted a divorce, that’s all I knew,” Large said.
According to the lawsuit, Large was assigned to investigate Jane Doe 3’s case on three separate occasions to act as a victim advocate, including a 1998 incident in which the victim was beaten and shot by her husband five times in the back and hands.
That case took two years to prosecute, “during which time Detective Large would often appear at her home, encourage her to get in shape, and make inappropriate sexual comments,” the lawsuit said.
The victim’s second husband “began to drink excessively” and threatened to kill her in a 2015 incident, said the lawsuit.
“Over the course of the next several weeks, Detective Large continued to appear at her home, many times unannounced,” the lawsuit said. “During these encounters, Detective Large never discussed the assault, instead he offered to help her ‘get on her feet.’”
Large admits in the deposition that he encouraged the victims to participate in the catfight videos to earn money, and that he drove Jane Doe 3 to Asheville, North Carolina to engage in one catfight, which he videotaped.
“She never said that she didn’t like it,” Large said in the deposition. Large said Jane Doe 3 was proud of the photos that showed her bruises after the catfight.
Large claims that he suggested the catfight videos, which he said paid $2,000 each, as a means for all three women to earn money.
Large said that Jane Doe 1 and 2 were “already engaged in doing stuff that was definitely illegal and getting hardly anything for it.”
“They were doing things illegal, drug-related, prostitution and stripping and it was just an opportunity,” Large said.
“Did you ever try to get them counseling?” asked James B. Moore, lawyer for the Jane Doe plaintiffs.
“For what?” Large responded.