Gaylon Redwine was forced to resign from the Walker County Sheriff's Office after an internal investigation showed he violated office policy.
A teenage girl told authorities she wasn't sure what to think but she didn't say no when a Walker County sheriff's deputy wanted to have oral sex with her, a sheriff's office internal investigation shows.
Former Deputy Gaylon Redwine, 28, was forced to resign after an investigation showed that he kissed the 15-year-old girl four days before her 16th birthday in 2010, then had oral sex with her after she turned 16, the sheriff's office investigation showed.
Redwine, who was hired in 2006, also kissed a 14-year-old girl when he was on a trip to Panama City Beach, Fla., with the girl's family over this past Fourth of July, according to the investigation. Redwine was friends with the girl's father, the report stated.
The 14-year-old told police she knew it was wrong when Redwine kissed her, but she only hinted to let him know she wasn't interested because she thought of him as another dad, the investigation showed.
The sheriff's office is not releasing the names of the girls or their parents.
A telephone number listed for Redwine no longer is in service.
After a formal sheriff's office investigation, Redwine was given the option to resign or be terminated for violating office policy, but he won't be criminally charged based on the prosecutors' decision, Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson said.
"Certainly it was morally wrong, in my opinion," Wilson said. "To see if it was criminal, we sought out the advice of offices that prosecute criminal cases."
Both the district attorney's office in Panama City Beach, Fla., and the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney's office were notified of Redwine's actions, the sheriff said.
Lookout Mountain Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Evans said in a letter to the sheriff's office that her office decided not to prosecute Redwine in Walker County since the sex with the teenage girl was consensual and she was 16 at the time, the age of consent in Georgia.
"Regarding the kissing that took place four days prior to her 16th birthday, although morally questionable, it would not by itself be conduct which could be prosecuted," Evans wrote in the letter.
Florida authorities also decided not to prosecute Redwine for kissing the 14-year-old, explaining the act was a misdemeanor charge and the girl's family didn't want them to prosecute the case.
The sheriff's office also has notified the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council of Redwine's conduct. That council oversees standards and training for law officers across the state.
Walker County Maj. Mike Freeman first received information about a possible child molestation case involving Redwine on Oct. 5, the investigation shows.
One of the girl's fathers told Freeman his daughter had spent the night at another girl's house that weekend and, when she came home, she admitted that Redwine had kissed her and a friend on several occasions, the investigation showed.
When interviewed, the 16-year-old told authorities Redwine often sent text messages to her and called her, and sometimes they would meet up at a park, but they only hugged, the report showed.
But on two occasions, Redwine came to her house when her parents weren't home and he fondled her once and had oral sex with her another time, the report showed.
Two or three months ago, the teenager said, she told Redwine not to contact her anymore and he didn't, the report showed.
Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...