Sgt. Alvin Blake Sutherland, 51, of Douglasville faces four felony counts: violation of public oath, aggravated sodomy, aggravated sexual battery and sexual assault by a law enforcement officer.
Sheriff Neil Warren said investigators learned of the matter after the inmate made a complaint late Wednesday alleging she had been sexually assaulted by an employee of the Sheriff’s Office on the evening of Jan. 11.
“We were able to determine through the investigation that there was probable cause for a criminal warrant to be issued,” Warren said. “I’m really heartbroken over it, to be honest with you.”
Sutherland, who has since been terminated, is a former Marine and 10-year veteran of the department.
He was assigned to the detention center, where he supervised 20 to 30 deputies and about 250 inmates, Warren said.
The sheriff said, while he couldn’t go into many details, the jail covers about 20 acres.
“You’re moving inmates from point A to point B, it could be for various reasons,” Warren said. “It could be for moving them into another cellblock, taking them to the infirmary for a doctor’s appointment, to see the nurse, just a number of things.”
Warren said it’s normal procedure, given that Sutherland was a sergeant, to help with moving inmates.
“And evidently they had some time together when this was committed,” he said.
Sutherland remains in jail on a $100,000 bond.
“He has brought distrust and dishonor on the family of law enforcement,” Warren said. “He has tarnished the badge that we all in law enforcement hold dear to our heart.”
Warren said the conduct Sutherland engaged in was unacceptable under any circumstances.
“But even more so when it’s perpetrated by a law enforcement officer against someone that he’s been charged with protecting,” he said.
Investigators are checking on other possible misconduct.
“I have already initiated an internal investigation to find out how can we not let this happen again,” Warren said.