Deputy charged with rape

CLINTON, N.C.

Richard Matthew West, 30, of Clinton, is charged with statutory rape, second-degree rape, indecent liberties with a minor, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Bond was set at $250,000.

The assault was reported on April 23, 2011, and allegedly occurred while West was off duty.

In a news release, the sheriff's office said he was "separated from employment" on April 25, 2011 following a preliminary investigation.

The case was then turned over to the State Bureau of Investigation to avoid any potential conflict of interest. The SBI apparently worked on the investigation for over a year.

West was originally hired by the Sampson County Sheriff's Office in September, 2009. Prior to the sexual assault allegation he did not have any disciplinary history.

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