With salacious details amid accusations of police department corruption and incompetence, a pair of lawsuits against Horry County police involving disgraced detective Allen Large will move forward.
The accusations include Large sexually assaulting some victims and forcing others to participate in nude catfighting videos. The victims were involved with cases Large was supposedly investigating in his role with Horry County police.
Lawyers said it occurred as Horry County police supervisors were aware of the issues surrounding Large and they didn’t take action for years.
That is the crux of five separate lawsuits filed by unidentified women, called Jane Does in court documents. Three of the lawsuits previously settled; this week a federal judge rejected a county effort to throw out the lawsuits and paved the way for trial.
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Five civil suits
Allen Large first met some of his victims as far back as 1996 and the suits state the county was first aware of Large’s behavior in 2003.
It wasn't until July 2015 that Horry County police fired Large and it took another four months for HCPD to ask the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to investigate the former detective.
Victims filed the suits against Horry County police and supervisors in 2016. The common theme among the suits is that the department was negligent and knew of Large's behaviors before taking actions.
In Jane Doe 1's suit, the victim contacted police about a sexual assault in 2013 and Large was assigned to the case. Over the next six months, Large engaged in a pattern of coercive behavior, unwanted sexual advances and sexual assault, the suit states. That suit was settled and dismissed in March 2017.
Jane Doe 2's suit started in a local court and says at one point Large demanded she participate in nude, catfighting videos. That victim says she reported a rape and in her first meeting with Large, the detective said she was "beautiful" and could understand how the suspect "could be turned on by her and unable to resist himself." Large then helped the woman by providing assistance with child custody and offering to move in into a condominium. That suit was settled in July 2017.
Jane Doe 5 filed suit stating she was the victim of sexual harassment by Large and asked her to box with other women. That suit was settled in April 2017.
The suits by Jane Doe 3 and Jane Doe 4 remain active. Earlier this week, a federal judge struck down most of the county's efforts to end those cases.
Summary judgment is used in civil cases when one or both sides say a judge should rule in their favor after there are facts no longer in dispute. In this case, the county asked for judgment in its favor with one argument being Large's actions occurred outside of the scope of his work.
Judge Marvin Quattlebaum ruled the victims showed issues are still in dispute.
In Jane Doe 3's suit, the victim first reported a domestic violence incident in 1996 and Large investigated. In 1998, the victim’s husband shot her five times in the hand and back and Large was again assigned to the case. The victim left the area but returned in 2003 and in 2015 reported domestic violence with her new husband. Large investigated and coerced the victim to participate in the catfighting videos, the filing states.
In Jane Doe 4's case, the victim said she was addicted to drugs and in 2014, Large called her on a cell phone, saying he got her number from a shared associate. He visited the victim's home and committed sexual assault, the suit states. Large continued to contact the victim and demanded she participate in the fighting videos.
Before the judge's order, the lawyers for the victims filed court documents objecting to the county request for judgment.
In that filing, the victims say HCPD documents from 2003 show a supervisor was told of Large's inappropriate contacts. That report also says that document states that Large "had an unlimited supply of county vehicles which he uses for stalking purposes."
Civil suits weren't the only venue where Large found himself in hot water. In September 2016, a grand jury indicted the detective on 11 counts of misconduct or sexual-based charges while in office.
Large maintained his innocence, but died in January before his case went to trial.
He was indicted along with three other ex-HCPD cops - Luke Green, Todd Cox and Daryl Williams - who were also accused of misconduct in unrelated matters.
Large faced 110 years in prison if convicted of the 11 counts.
Prosecutors dismissed the case against Large in May.
A few months after Large's death, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division released a 300-page investigative file. That report included a December 2015 statement by Large where he details his interaction with victims.
“I have never used my position as a detective to make or use anyone to do things for me,” Large wrote in his statement. “I did not use my position with the police department to hook up with women.”
Less than two weeks later, Large confessed to one of his victims telling her that he was a bad man and he forced women to perform sexual acts, according to the investigative report.
Alex Lang: 843-297-0659, @LangSunNews