The Latest: SC sheriff guilty of 1 count of misconduct

The Latest: SC sheriff guilty of 1 count of misconduct


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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on a suspended South Carolina sheriff on trial (all times local):

10:45 p.m.

A South Carolina sheriff has been found guilty of one count of misconduct in office for using his power and public resources to have sex with his personal assistant.

A jury deliberated more than four hours before splitting its verdicts Thursday against suspended Greenville County Sheriff Will Lewis. He was found guilty on one count of misconduct in office and not guilty on another misconduct charge.

Lewis faces up to a year in prison when he is sentenced Friday morning.

Prosecutors say the 43-year-old Lewis hired Savanah Nabors after his 2016 election, paying the then 22-year-old $62,000 a year and giving her a vehicle and other perks to groom her for a sexual relationship.

Lewis testified that the sex at an out-of-town meeting was consensual. He said cheating on his wife was immoral but he did nothing illegal.

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5:15 p.m.

A prosecutor says a sheriff tarnished his badge by using his office to persuade a young assistant to have sex with him.

Solicitor Kevin Brackett ended his closing argument Thursday by calling suspended Greenville County Sheriff Will Lewis a "dirty cop." He told jurors hearing two misconduct charges against Lewis that they could put the shine back on the badge by convicting Lewis.

The sheriff's lawyer Rauch Wise said in his closing argument that a one-night stand in a hotel room with a subordinate is a moral failing, not a crime.

Prosecutors say the 43-year-old Lewis paid the then-22-year-old assistant $62,000 a year and organized an out-of-town budget trip to have sex with her away from his wife and family. They say he then used his power to make her do what he wanted to keep her job.

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This item has been edited to fix AP style on "closing argument."

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12 p.m.

A South Carolina sheriff says while he probably would have fired a supervisor who had sex with a subordinate like he did, that person shouldn't be charged with a crime.

Suspended Greenville County Sheriff Will Lewis finished testifying in his own defense Thursday in his misconduct in office trial.

Prosecutors say Lewis committed a crime by paying the then 22-year-old $62,000 a year and giving her a vehicle and other perks to persuade her into a sexual relationship and by wielding his power as sheriff over her.

Lewis' cross examination was testy. Lewis suggested prosecutor Willy Thompson just wanted him to say he was guilty. Thompson said while Lewis claimed to pay attention to detail, his memory had gaps when the truth would hurt him.

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