Richard Gilleland

Cherokee Sheriff’s Office investigators arrested a former deputy on Thursday morning after receiving information about inappropriate contact between the deputy and two female inmates.

Richard Gilleland, 51, of Canton, was charged with two counts of sexual assault against a person in custody, two counts of sexual battery and two counts of violation of oath of office.

According to a statement from the sheriff’s office:

The investigation began June 7 after the two inmates reported the contact. Gilleland was placed on leave during the investigation and resigned from the agency on Tuesday. Gilleland, who has been with the agency for five years, remains in custody with no bond until he sees a magistrate judge later Thursday.

“This type of behavior will not be tolerated,” said Sheriff Frank Reynolds. “Our deputies have worked hard to gain the trust and respect from the community. When one of them breaks the law they will be held accountable.”

According to sheriff’s office spokesman Jay Baker, two inmates made complaints against Gilleland. All of the criminal charges are related to his conduct with one of the inmates. In the case of the other inmate, Gilleland’s conduct violated department policy, but did not rise to the level of a crime, Baker said.

According to an arrest warrant, Gilleland intentionally pressed his body against the inmate’s body in an inappropriate manner.


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