Legal questions linger after police detective accused of sexual misconduct found dead

Allen Large never got his day in court.

The 55-year-old former police detective was facing several charges of criminal sexual conduct, in addition to lawsuits filed against the Horry County Police Department by women claiming Large abused them.

Large maintained he was innocent of the charges throughout the two-year ordeal, and pledged to clear his name in the courtroom.

But that day won’t come. Large was found dead in his Murrells Inlet home Wednesday night. Foul play is not suspected.

“I just want a fair shake,” Large once told The Sun News. “I can take being accused. But I love putting my hand on a Bible, raising my hand, dressed up in a coat and tie, being grilled, and telling the truth. And I take pride in that.”

The cause of his death will not be made public, said Tamara Willard, chief deputy coroner for Horry County.

“Allen’s manner (of) death is natural,” Willard said in a statement. “His family is asking for privacy during this time.”

Large’s health issues with diabetes, kidney and heart disease were revealed in a courtroom last month when he asked the court to remove the GPS ankle bracelet he’s worn since the grand jury indictments were handed down in the fall of 2016.

Allen Large, a former detective with the Horry County Police Department, died on Jan. 10, 2018. He was 55 years old. Sun News file photo

After being under house arrest for more than a year, Large was released from those restrictions.

On Thursday morning, the state attorneys general’s office said the criminal charges against Large would be dismissed.

Large rejected a plea deal offered by the attorney general in September, and faced a combined 110 years in jail if convicted of all five criminal sexual conduct charges, plus six additional charges of misconduct of office.

It’s not clear how the civil cases, filed by women identified only as Jane Does, will proceed.

Three of the five cases were settled out of court last year, but two of the civil suits are still pending — those filed by Jane Doe 3 and Jane Doe 4.

Jane Doe 3 named Large as a defendant, as well as Horry County, the police department and other former police officials, including former Chief Saundra Rhodes.

Large was not one of the defendants in the case filed by Jane Doe 4. That lawsuit named Horry County, the police department and former police officials.

James B. Moore III, the lawyer representing the remaining cases, said he was unable to comment at this time on how Large’s death would affect those lawsuits.

Large was fired by Rhodes in 2015 following an internal investigation into charges that Large had sexually assaulted a woman whose rape case he had been assigned to investigate.

Within months, state law enforcement officials began an investigation of Large and several other police officers within the agency.

The state attorney general’s office presented the cases to a grand jury and Large was indicted. Also indicted were former police officials Darryl Williams, Todd Cox and Luke Green on multiple charges of misconduct in office. Cox also was accused of closing cases that had not been investigated.

Horry County Police Chief Joseph Hill, who took over the agency just days after the indictments, pledged to run an honorable and ethical agency.

“I’m not going to tolerate the stuff that was tolerated in the past, it ain’t going to happen,” Hill said after he was sworn in.

Asked Thursday for his reaction to Large’s death, Hill said “There’s not really much to say.”

“Unfortunately he died, of natural causes. You know, I wasn’t here when all of that took place, I didn’t know the man,” Hill said.

“As with any death, we send our condolences, but as you can see we’re moving on, solving crimes and keeping people safe. That’s our goal,” Hill said.

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