Criminal investigation requested regarding sheriff’s actions
The two women who accused Harrison County Sheriff G. Mike Deatrick of sexual harassment have filed written complaints with the prosecutor’s office alleging possible criminal violations by Deatrick.
Deana Decker, dispatch supervisor for the department, and former receptionist Melissa Graham filed the complaints with Harrison County Prosecutor Dennis Byrd’s office yesterday afternoon.
Byrd said he is obligated to send a letter to the Indiana State Police to request that an investigator look into the allegations by interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence. After the ISP produces a report, it will present the findings to Byrd.
‘If we believe there is sufficient reason to pursue the charges, we’ll pull ourselves off the case and ask that a special prosecutor intervene due to our working relationship with the sheriff’s office and the courts,’ Byrd said yesterday. ‘The investigation by the state police could take anywhere from a week to 12 weeks.’
Decker alleged that over the course of the last several years she had been continually sexually harassed by Deatrick, who allegedly grabbed her breasts ‘on numerous occasions’ in addition to making sexually derogatory comments to her.
Graham alleged Deatrick left Graham sexually derogatory messages on her cell phone on numerous occasions in addition to making comments about her breasts.
Both women filed violations of the Civil Rights Act last month with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.