The parent of a teenager who reported she was sexually assaulted three years ago is suing the Horry County Police Department for failing to fully investigate the case or make an arrest until it was recently reopened as part of another investigation into police activity.
Brian Scott Perry, 20, was arrested last month on charges of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with the unnamed teen who was 15 when the incident occurred on May 25, 2013, according to the lawsuit filed Friday.
Perry was released on a $5,000 bond the same day he was arrested, according to J. Reuben Long Detention Center records.
“The actual prosecution of this criminal sexual assault is taking place almost three years subsequent to the heinous sexual assault due to said defendant’s failure to thoroughly investigate and obtain witness corroboration at the time first reported,” the lawsuit said.
Horry County Police spokesman Lt. Raul Denis declined to comment Monday on the reasons for recently reopening this and other cases for review.
The actual prosecution of this criminal sexual assault is taking place almost three years subsequent to the heinous sexual assault due to said defendant’s failure to thoroughly investigate and obtain witness corroboration at the time first reported.
Lawsuit filed by John and Jane Doe
“There is a pending lawsuit so we are not making any more comments about any of those cases,” Denis said.
The lawsuit says there were two witnesses to the incident, however the officer who investigated the case “insisted that there was insufficient grounds to move forward with criminal charges” and the case was closed. The sexual assault reportedly occurred on May 25, 2013, but was not reported by Doe’s parent until March 19, 2014. The case was closed by police a month later.
This is the second lawsuit filed against the Horry County Police Department in the past four months. A lawsuit filed in December against the Horry County Police Department accused an unnamed police officer of dismissing the complaint of a separate rape victim in December 2013. After filing the rape report, that lawsuit says the officer assigned to her case sexually harassed and assaulted the victim.
Police have declined to name the officer accused of sexual assault, and neither the officer nor the victim are named in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit filed Friday by John Doe and daughter Jane Doe referenced the lawsuit filed in December, and claimed it shows a pattern in the police department of neglecting to fully investigate crimes of sexual assault.
Thom Berry, an agent with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, confirmed that more than one individual within the Horry County Police Department is under investigation, but declined to comment on the specifics of the complaint SLED received in November that launched the inquiry.
The officer who is accused by John Doe and Jane Doe for failing to properly investigate the May 2013 sexual assault is not named. That lawsuit was filed against Horry County, South Carolina, Horry County Police, Perry, his father who is also named Brian Perry, his mother who is listed only as Doe Perry, and the owner of the property, Karen Rushford, where the 2013 sexual assault is claimed to have occurred.
Neither Perry, his father or Rushford could be reached for comment.
K. Blaine Massey, the lawyer who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the unnamed teenager and her father, also declined to comment on the lawsuit except to confirm that Perry’s father had been served notice of the pending litigation.
There is a pending lawsuit so we are not making any more comments about any of those cases.
Horry County Police Lt. Raul Denis
That lawsuit says Perry, who would have been about 17 when the 2013 sexual assault reportedly occurred, supplied the victim with “a common date rape-type, high alcohol content liquid” called “Four Loco,” and then assaulted the 15-year-old when she was “semi-unconscious and grossly intoxicated.”
The lawsuit said the unnamed victim suffered physical and psychological injury as a result of the rape, suffered from suicidal thoughts and depression, and has sought help from psychiatrists and therapists.
In both lawsuits, the victims are asking for a jury trial and an unspecified dollar amount in damages.