Several deny charges at Friday arraignments

A former Richmond County sheriff’s investigator accused of sexual assault pleaded not guilty at a hearing Friday.

In January, a Columbia County grand jury indicted David Timothy Dutton for rape, aggravated sexual battery, unlawful surveillance and giving false information. Dutton, 35, of Keene Street in Martinez, pleaded not guilty to those charges at the arraignment hearing in Evans.

A 27-year-old woman told Columbia County authorities Nov. 12 that she was looking through Dutton’s phone and found videos of their having sex the previous night, according to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident report.

The woman said she had taken her prescription medication and gone to sleep and had no recollection of the sexual encounter, according to the report.

Dutton, who was initially suspended from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office pending a review, resigned Nov. 26, according to Lt. Calvin Chew.

Also at the hearing, four people accused of selling synthetic marijuana pleaded not guilty to charges.

Young Ju Kim and Hyun Su Kim, the owners of Pumpkin Center store, pleaded not guilty to 17 counts of possession of a counterfeit substance with intent to distribute. On July 5, sheriff’s office investigators found 292 packets of synthetic marijuana, also known as Spice or K2, in their store. The couple also had 853 packets at their Evans home.

Synthetic marijuana is a psychoactive designer drug made of natural herbs sprayed with synthetic chemicals that, when consumed, mimic the effects of cannabis.

Atul Patel, the owner of Lewiston Express at 107 Lewiston Road, and his son Kinjalkumar Patel, pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of possession of Spice with intent to sell it. On June 21, investigators found 401 packets of suspected Spice in a store where the younger Patel worked.

Owners of 2 Columbia County convenience stores indicted on charges of selling synthetic marijuana
Convenience store employee charged with selling Spice

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