Bradley County Sheriff's Office sergeant demoted over sexual harassment

Bradley County Sheriff's Office sergeant demoted over sexual harassment

December 10th, 2017 by Judy Walton in Local Regional News

Bradley County Sheriff's Office vehicles display new "In God we trust" decals.

Photo by Paul Leach /Times Free Press.

Crude sexual comments made to a female deputy last month resulted in a Bradley County Sheriff's Office sergeant losing his rank after an internal affairs investigation, documents show.

The detective conducting the internal affairs investigation also found former Sgt. Doug Boucher several times met women during his night patrol shifts, either at their homes or in secluded areas off county roads, and that he went home an average of 90 minutes early at least 17 times in three months while putting in time sheets for full shifts.

The Times Free Press obtained the internal affairs report under Tennessee's Open Records Law. The investigation was conducted by Detective Dewayne Scoggins. Sheriff's office spokesman James Bradford Jr. said Saturday he had no information on the case and Sheriff Eric Watson could not be reached for comment.

The report shows Boucher, a 12-year employee of the sheriff's office, was busted from sergeant to deputy and must complete sexual harassment training before the end of the year. It said Boucher's actions in meeting women on shift and going home early violated sheriff's office policy against loitering, but it doesn't show Boucher was given any separate discipline or that he was required to reimburse the county.

In interviews with Scoggins, Boucher denied sexually harassing the female deputy, saying both that he meant his comments to be supervisory and that there was a lot of sexually oriented kidding around on the shift and she had never objected before. The Times Free Press is withholding the victim's name to protect her privacy.

Scoggins' Nov. 30 report said Boucher made crude comments to the female deputy in front of two male deputies on Nov. 2 while they were in the shift supervisor's office turning in statistics from their patrols.

According to the report, Boucher insinuated the woman had performed a sex act on another deputy on the night shift and said he "couldn't let them work in the same zone because she just wants to park and have sex with him," according to a statement from Deputy Jeremy Guthrie, who was present.

The female deputy got very upset and walked out, Guthrie said in the statement. "Sgt Boucher continued to make comments after she left degrading her, saying wonder what her problem is and that it must be her time of the month. Sgt Boucher has done this in the past and made several comments that women should not be in law enforcement."

It wasn't Boucher's first reprimand for inappropriate comments to a woman. In May 2009, he was reprimanded and kicked off the SWAT team for making comments about a female sergeant's breasts during SWAT training.

That woman, now a lieutenant, reported the latest incident to Chief Deputy Brian Smith, according to the report. She also told Scoggins she had found Boucher "parked at locations that were not authorized or known to her and she believed that he may be meeting females while on duty."

Scoggins obtained GPS records for Boucher's county car and confirmed the sergeant was going home early, spending long hours parked on secluded roads or behind buildings, and had visited the homes of at least three women during his patrol shifts.

During his interview with Scoggins, Boucher admitted going home early. He said he was going through a divorce and just had concerns about what was going on at his house. He said he parked in the driveway and sat in his car, listening to the radio, and didn't go into the house except to use the bathroom or get a drink.

He also admitted to meeting the three women at their homes or at locations in the county, but said "no inappropriate relationship had occurred with [them] on duty," Scoggins wrote.

The IA report said complaints of sexual harassment and other misconduct not based on the original complaint were sustained and ordered Boucher demoted.

Boucher appealed the findings but the demotion was upheld by the sheriff, the file shows.

Contact staff writer Judy Walton at jwalton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6416.


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