Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Former Officer Bennie Hand Charged with Sexually Abusing Vulnerable Adult

A former Wellford police officer was arrested Tuesday by state agents after they said he sexually and physically abused a vulnerable adult.

The State Law Enforcement Division said between July 1, 2012 and Jan. 1, 2013, 32-year-old Bennie Hand sexually battered and physically abused the victim, who suffers from a mental condition impairing her from providing her own care or protecting herself.

During the abuse, SLED said Hand worked as a Wellford police officer.

Wellford Mayor Thomas Watson said the city received a complaint about the allegations made against Hand and called in SLED to investigate. He was placed on administrative leave when the investigation began and was fired following his arrest, Watson said.

Hand was arrested on charges of misconduct in office, criminal sexual conduct third degree and abuse of a vulnerable adult.

State agents were called in to investigate at the request of Wellford police and the 13th Circuit Solicitor's Office will prosecute the case.

Hand is being held at the Spartanburg County Detention Center.

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