Tennessee Sheriff’s Deputy Arrested on 44 Charges, Including Rape and Stalking
Hamilton County sheriff’s deputy Daniel Wilkey was indicted on December 10 on 44 criminal charges — 25 of them felonies — over actions alleged to have been taken in the course of his official duties, including rape, extortion, stalking and assault, according to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office in Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee.
The charges against Wilkey include six counts of sexual battery; two counts of rape; and nine counts each of extortion, stalking and assault, according to court documents.
Wilkey has also been the subject of multiple lawsuits while employed by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office that accuse him of misconduct, including false imprisonment, and forcibly baptizing a woman during a traffic stop.
Two of the charges in Tuesday’s indictment, for felony rape and misdemeanor assault, stem from a traffic stop in July of 2019 during which Wilkey and another deputy, Bobby Brewer, performed a body cavity search on a handcuffed black man identified as James Mitchell after pulling over his car.
Furthermore, several of the indictments filed on Tuesday relate to a separate traffic stop that happened in February which involved Shandle Riley, whom prosecutors say was stalked, assaulted, extorted, and falsely imprisoned by Wilkey.
Per the February encounter, Riley now has a pending lawsuit against Wilkey and the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.
Wilkey illegally searched Riley's car and found a small amount of marijuana. Wilkey then offered not to arrest Riley if she would allow him to baptize her in his underwear.
Riley said in the lawsuit that she felt as if she had no choice but to agree to Wilkey’s strange demand, so she went with him to a lake, where he stripped to his underwear and brought her into the frigid, waist-deep water.
Wilkey fully submerged Riley in the lake with his hands on her back and on her breasts while another deputy identified as Javcob Goforth stood on a nearby boat ramp to serve as a witness to the unlawful illegal baptism, the lawsuit says.
Sheriff Jim Hammond of Hamilton County said the following in a statement:
“In the days that follow, I want to reassure our community, each and everyday the men and women of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office are to perform their duties in a deliberate, honorable and professional manner. We are charged to protect this community and its citizens, and this is a responsibility I take very seriously.”
Before his employment in Hamilton County, Wilkey worked as a law enforcement officer in neighboring Rhea County, Tennessee, where he was accused in a wrongful-death lawsuit of fatally shooting an unarmed man in the head in 2014 while the man was receiving treatment at an emergency room.
Wilkey was not charged criminally in the man’s death.