Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Former Georgia Deputy Arrested for Sexual Assault

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jun 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

According to reports out of Cherokee County, a former deputy has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting two female inmates.

Richard Gilleland, the accused deputy, was with the sheriff's office for five years. He was placed on administrative leave and has now resigned.

In today's post I will outline the offense of sexual assault in the state of Georgia.

Sexual Assault in Georgia

Sexual assault in Georgia is defined in the Georgia Code in O.C.G.A. §16-5-5.1 as:

Sexual assault occurs when a person who has supervisory or disciplinary authority over another individual engages in sexual contact with them.

Sexual contact is defined by law as “any contact between the actor and a person not married to the actor involving the intimate parts of either person for the sexual gratification of the actor.” The easiest way to explain it is that it is any sexual contact that involves intimate body parts between two unmarried people. 

Sexual assault can only occur between a person with supervisory or disciplinary authority and someone underneath them. Examples of these types of relationships are as follows:

  • Teacher, principal, assistant principal, or other school administrators
  • Probation officer, or other employees that have authority over parolees or probationers
  • Employee or agent of a law enforcement agency with a person detained or in custody
  • Employee or agent of a hospital who has sexual contact with a patient while being treated
  • Employee or agent of a correctional or juvenile justice facility, or disability facility; or
  • Psychotherapists with their patients

Any of these people will have committed sexual assault when they engage in sexual contact with an individual that the actor knew or should have known they have authority over.

Practice Note

Sex Crimes in Georgia are frequently mixed up and incorrectly referred to in the media. People are very confused, and different states define different offenses in different ways.

If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact a Georgia Sex Crimes Lawyer today. We can help you with your case now. Sex offenses come with both serious and negative connotations. Most of the time, people assume guilt from the arrest.

We understand that all people are to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. 

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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