Former Cherokee County deputy arrested on sexual assault, battery charges

A former Cherokee County deputy has been arrested after he was accused of having inappropriate contact with two female inmates, authorities said Thursday.

Richard Gilleland, 51, of Canton faces charges of sexual assault against a person in custody, sexual battery and violation of oath of office, according to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities started their investigation Friday after the inmates reported the incidents. Gilleland was placed on leave and resigned Tuesday, the sheriff’s office said. He had been with the agency for five years.

“This type of behavior will not be tolerated,” Sheriff Frank Reynolds said in a news release. “Our deputies have worked hard to gain the trust and respect from the community. When one of them breaks the law, they WILL be held accountable.”