Warren County Deputy Dewayne Wood was arrested at 3 p.m. Tuesday in connection with the Aug. 10 sexual assault of a female inmate while she was being transported, said Gary Nicholson, Special Agent in charge of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Thomson office.
Agent Nicholson announced the arrest during a press conference Tuesday afternoon, adding that the deputy had been charged with sexual assault of a person in custody and possession of prescription diet pills with the intent to distribute.
Instead of housing Deputy Wood at the McDuffie County Law Enforcement Center where Warren County inmates - including the victim - are held, Agent Nicholson said he is being housed at the Richmond County Detention Center.
Deputy Wood had continued working for the Sherriff's Department, but Warren County authorities confirmed he had been terminated as a result of his arrest Tuesday.
Also, Toombs Judicial Circuit District Attorney Dennis Sanders will not handle the prosecution of Deputy Woods because of his past work with the deputy. Prosecution of the case was turned over to Augusta District Attorney Danny Craig's office after Mr. Sanders asked to be removed.
Mr. Sanders' November letter to Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker stated that he has known Deputy Wood for years and has worked closely with the officer on many past cases.
"He assists us in almost every case that we take to trial in that county," Mr. Sanders wrote. "After consideration, I think it is only proper that I recuse this office so that no one can assert anything but an objective review and prosecution if that is ultimately necessary."
Mr. Sanders said he heard the attorney general's office granted his request this week.
Agent Nicholson said the deputy will face a Warren County Grand Jury scheduled for next month. He added that Mr. Craig's office will handle that hearing.