A former Chester County deputy repeatedly had sex with a female suspect he arrested and promised leniency if she gave him nude photos of her, South Carolina state agents say.
Bryant Joseph Thorpe Jr., 31, was arrested Friday by State Law Enforcement Division agents a day after he was fired.
The Herald exclusively reported Friday that Thorpe had been booked in Chester County around 1:30 p.m. on charges of misconduct in office and accepting bribes. Thorpe was released an hour later.
Arrest warrants released Monday to The Herald by SLED accuse Thorpe of a scheme of sex for leniency that went on for several months in 2018.
On Sept. 27, Thorpe arrested a suspect for filing a false police report and harassment, arrest warrants state.
Through December, Thorpe requested nude photos from the suspect and had sex with her, warrants state.
“Thorpe took a reward from the victim in that he requested nude or inappropriate photographs from the victim and had her perform sexual acts on him in exchange for implied leniency on criminal charges,” warrants state.
Thorpe violated the public’s trust while working as a police officer, SLED agents say.
“Thorpe, while employed as a deputy sheriff for the Chester County Sheriff’s Office, breached the public’s trust in that he used his position and authority as a sworn law enforcement officer to engage in inappropriate communications and contact, and engage in sexual conduct, with the victim who had pending criminal charges,” the warrant states.
The Chester County Sheriff’s Office fired Thorpe on Thursday. He was arrested Friday at the Chester County jail.
Top officials with the Chester County Sheriff’s office declined to comment on Thorpe’s arrest, saying it was a SLED case. However, it was the sheriff’s office that asked SLED to investigate.
It remains unclear how the allegations came to light or how long SLED had been investigating.
The S.C. Attorney General’s office is handling the prosecution of Thorpe to avoid any perceived conflict with the 6th Circuit Solicitor’s Office that normally handles criminal cases in Chester County.