PNN – Greenville County Sheriff Will Lewis has been accused of both sexual harassment and sexual assault in a newly filed lawsuit. These accusations echo those made last year by former Greenville County Sheriff Steve Loftis, who produced documents outlining a 2011 internal investigation into then-Deputy Lewis’ behavior towards female officers. Lewis resigned shortly thereafter–a move that Loftis insists was done to avoid the firing that Lewis knew was eminent.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of former Greenville County Sheriff Department employee Savanah Nabors. Nabors served as Lewis’ assistant starting shortly after his election to the position last year, and she continued on until April. In the lawsuit, Nabors alleges that Lewis began his inappropriate behavior almost immediately, starting with remarks as early as December, before culminating in a physical assault in March, which led to Nabors’ eventual resignation in April. Nabors believes that Lewis added some form of drug to her drinks on the evening of the alleged assault, as she lost consciousness and awoke to find Lewis on top of her. Nabors claims that she was assaulted once more the following evening, despite Lewis’ insistence earlier in the evening that the behavior would not reoccur.

Following the assault, Nabors claims that Lewis acted obsessive. According to Nabors, Lewis was instructing her to avoid dating, prying into her personal affairs, and making excuses to come by her home. Nabors offered up her resignation with a two week notice on April 24th, but was instructed to cease working there immediately by Lewis. Nabors claims that Lewis then contacted her on the following day to beg for her to return as his assistant, going so far as to offer her a raise. Nabors declined this offer and opted to seek psychological help for lasting trauma following the assaults, as she claims that she has since experienced persisting nightmares and a loss of appetite.

As part of the ongoing lawsuit several audio recordings of conversations between Nabors and Sheriff Will Lewis have been made available to the public. These tapes seem to confirm aspects of Nabors’ claims.

Sheriff Will Lewis has not been in his position long, having only successfully won a runoff against former Sheriff Steve Loftis late last year. These allegations do not bode well for the thus far brief career of Sheriff Lewis, nor do they look good for the small group of adamant supporters that helped to launch Lewis into his current position. According to Will Lewis’ publicly available ethics filings, much of his funding can be traced back to these individuals. Bob Castellani contributed $8,000 cumulatively between himself, his family, and his business holdings, whereas attorney and Statehouse Representative Bruce Bannister bundled a slightly smaller sum of $7,750 cumulatively, with Karen Floyd of the Palladian Group offering up $2,000 as well. This trio are notable as not only high dollar contributors, but also as passionate supporters who were well known on the campaign trail. At least $12,000 of Lewis’ funding for his campaign during last year’s Primary Election came from attorneys, though Lewis listed most donor occupations as “not sure,” so that number may well be higher.

Banner picture via FOX Carolina; Will Lewis holds a press conference on June 22, 2017.