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Police Training Program

Athens, GA: (Jan-27-08) An Oglethorpe County woman brought charges against the County and Samuel Roy Wilbanks, a sheriff's deputy, alleging that she was sexually molested as a minor while participating in a now-defunct Oglethorpe County junior police training program. The suit stated that Wilbanks and the girl, an Oglethorpe County resident who participated in the first class of the sheriff's Junior Law Enforcement Academy and then became part of the more advanced "Explorers" program, had repeated sexual contact between November 2003 and April 2004.

In her lawsuit, the victim, who was 15 at the time, argued that her civil rights were violated because Wilbanks misused his power as a law enforcement officer. In his defense, Wilbanks claimed that the relationship was consensual, though state law puts the age of consent at 16. Wilbanks, now 34, is serving a seven-year prison sentence after pleading guilty in 2004 to aggravated child molestation in the case. Sources close to the case said that a settlement was reached in the Wilbanks case, though the terms remain undisclosed for now. The settlement ends the victim's civil action against Wilbanks. [ONLINE ATHENS: POLICE MOLESTATION]

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Published on Jan-28-08


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