Former deputy charged with sexually assaulting woman in custody

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A former Barrow County Sheriff's deputy bonded out of jail Monday night after being arrested for felony charges of sexually assault. The charges stems from an incident involving a woman he arrested.

“I’m disgusted. I'm very upset. I'm disgusted at this vile act,” said Barrow County Sheriff Jud Smith.

Smith said former deputy William Mitchell last month was transporting a woman in the back of his squad car. Smith said Mitchell took a detour on a side road near the jail.

“The allegations are that she had made that he had done some sexual acts to her while in the patrol car,” said Smith. “She was still in custody. She was in the back of the patrol car. She was not free to move.”

The sheriff said the 42-year-old Mitchell, married with children, turned off the rear seat camera in the squad car.

“The camera was cut off that we can tell time stamped wise and he took advantage of the situation and then brought the inmate into the facility as if nothing happened,” said Smith.

The woman bonded out and then filed a formal complaint. An internal investigation involving the Georgia Bureau of Investigation led to four felonies against Mitchell: two counts of sexually assaulting a person in custody and charges of false statement as well as violation of oath of a public office.

“He gave us a confession about some things and substantiated some of the things that had happened. We terminated him immediately,” said the sheriff.

Smith said Mitchell turned himself in on Friday and was held at the Gwinnett County Jail for his own protection. He's since bonded out.

“I want people to know that the actions of one former employee do not define the actions of the men and women that work here that do a great job every day,” said Sheriff Smith.

The case of former deputy Mitchell will go to the Barrow County District Attorney's Office. Smith said Mitchell could face as much as 20 years in prison.