An image from a tape that apparently shows Abbeville County Sheriff Charles Goodwin enter a room. (May 26, 2001/FOX Carolina)
ABBEVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -
A video dated May 2001 shows Abbeville County Sheriff Charles Goodwin walk into a room used by the sheriff's office.
"Very few people go through life without making mistakes, and I'm no exception," said Goodwin.
There are accusations he had sex with a female deputy, and for several minutes, the two disappear off camera.
"I feel that my God and my family has forgiven me and I hope that the people in this community can find it in their hearts to forgive me too," said Goodwin.
Although Goodwin said he takes responsibility, he questions the timing of the tape's release as he heads into a November race as an incumbent.
"I made a terrible mistake 11 years ago, and the mistake I have made has caused embarrassment and pain to my family and the citizens of Abbeville County," said Goodwin.
FOX Carolina has learned Goodwin didn't set up the tape and didn't know he was being recorded, but somehow a copy of the tape along with a note landed in Mary Hedden's mailbox, a resident of Abbeville County.
"And it said on the note you my want to see this," said Hedden.
She said she couldn't believe what she saw.
"And then a lady officer came in the door and then he threw a sleeping bag down on the floor," said Hedden.
Hedden said her son once worked for the sheriff's office but quit for personal reasons, and soon after, he was arrested.
"Well in November of 2003 both of those, my son and the other officer got brought up on charges of having sex with inmates for cigarettes," said Hedden.
She said her son was charged based on what an inmate said without proof.
"I want to know why they charged my son and the other officer with something that they had no proof of and everybody around here has got proof of this," said Hedden.
Hedden said it's not fair that Goodwin isn't charged with anything. She said he should be fired and her son's record should be cleared.
FOX Carolina asked a council member and the county director about the accusation. They had no comment and referred us to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. SLED spokeswoman Kathryn Richardson released this statement: "At this time it would not be appropriate for SLED to comment on a case they may or may not be investigating."
Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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