Woman speaks out after deputy charged with battery - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Woman speaks out after deputy charged with battery

CUTHBERT, GA (WALB) -

A Cuthbert woman who says a Randolph County Deputy assaulted her is telling her story. Meanwhile, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is interviewing witnesses, but they did charge the deputy.

Denise Hayes says she is still shaken up from the night she encountered Deputy Derrell Gilbert.

"I was so shocked. That was supposed to be somebody that is to protect and serve, and we had just moved there," said Hayes.

Hayes said she was helping to mediate a situation at a neighbor's home on Dirt Road on Friday. Deputies, including Gilbert, were called to the scene. Hayes said she was headed back to her home when Gilbert approached her.

"[He] wanted me to come out to the car and exchange numbers with me," said Hayes. "I told him I was married. He said he was going to give me the phone number anyway. I went to reach for the phone number [and] he forced me to touch his private area. I kind of pulled back and he man handled my hand and forced me to do it twice more."

Hayes then reported the incident to authorities, and the Randolph County Sheriff asked the GBI to investigate.

Deputy Gilbert was arrested Friday and charged with Simple Battery, False Statements, and Violation of Oath of Office.

Hayes hopes speaking out will help others.

"I want people to know if something like this happens to them, don't be scared. They need to stand up to them. Take action so justice can be served," said Hayes.

Deputy Gilbert bonded out of jail. Hayes has relocated from Cuthbert until she feels it's safe to move back.

"So now I'm staying with my mom and dad," she said.

The Randolph County Sheriff's Office says they cannot comment until the GBI is finished with the investigation. The GBI says the case is still active, but they don't expect more charges.

Deputy Gilbert was placed on paid leave. In attempts to reach his residence by phone, callers were told they had reached the wrong number.

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