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Woman claiming Orangeburg deputy forced her into oral sex gets $350K settlement

Dereck Johnson (Orangeburg County Sheriff's Dept.)

A woman who accuses a former Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office deputy of forcing her into a sex act has settled a civil lawsuit.

The Times & Democrat of Orangeburg reports Monday that the woman received a $350,000 settlement earlier this year from the South Carolina Insurance Reserve Fund. The newspaper obtained details on the settlement through an open records request.

Former Orangeburg County Deputy Dereck Johnson pleaded guilty earlier this month to misconduct in office and is serving probation and community service.

Johnson was fired last year after the woman accused him of forcing her to perform oral sex on him, threatening to arrest her boyfriend if she refused.

After the incident, the woman told The Associated Press she feared no one would believe what happened June 12, 2016, when deputies were called to the woman's house over a fight with her boyfriend.

Once alone with her for questioning, the woman told the AP Johnson gave her an ultimatum: perform oral sex on him, or her she and her boyfriend would go to jail.

When it was over, the woman said, Johnson left her in the house and walked up to her boyfriend, smiling, and shook his hand.

Attorneys for the woman say Johnson was a sworn deputy at the time of the incident, despite the fact he hadn't been through required training with the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.

In South Carolina, all law officers must go through a 12-week course at the academy, but they have a year from their hire date to complete it, according to an academy spokesperson.

Officials with Orangeburg County were unable to provide the AP with details on their protocols for trainee officers in the field, or say if any mistakes were made the day of the alleged assault.

Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell fired Johnson the day after the incident, and referred the case to SLED. Affidavits obtained by the AP show Johnson admitted in a sworn statement to the sexual assault.

Johnson was arrested, and and judge later set his bond at $10,000.

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