Originally created 12/06/06

Deputy charged in sexual assault

THOMSON, Ga. - Authorities arrested a Warren County deputy Tuesday and charged him with an Aug. 10 sexual assault involving a female inmate he was transporting.

Gary Nicholson, special agent in charge of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Thomson office, said Deputy Dewayne Wood has been charged with sexual assault of a person in custody and possession of prescription diet pills with the intent to distribute.

A bond hearing will be held today.

Agent Nicholson said the deputy will face a Warren County grand jury and Augusta Judicial Circuit District Attorney Danny Craig will handle the case.

Mr. Wood was arrested at 3 p.m. Tuesday and was being held at the Richmond County Detention Center instead of the McDuffie County Law Enforcement Center where Warren County inmates are usually housed.

"There are people there that the deputy has arrested, as well as the victim, and basically for the safety of all involved, it was decided that that would be the best place to take him," Agent Nicholson said.

Deputy Wood had continued working for the sheriff's department until his arrest.

Warren County authorities confirmed he had been fired Tuesday.

Mr. Craig's office became involved after Toombs Judicial District Attorney Dennis Sanders asked to be removed from the case.

In a November letter to Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker, Mr. Sanders said he has known Deputy Wood for years and has worked closely with the officer on many cases in the past.

"After consideration, I think it is only proper that I recuse this office so that no one can assert anything but an objective review and prosecution if that is ultimately necessary."

Mr. Sanders said he heard the attorney general's office granted his request this week.


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