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      Richland County deputy fired, charged with criminal sexual conduct

      Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott says he has fired one of his deputies after he demanded a woman expose herself, then told him he would help her reduce her criminal charges.

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH / AP) -- Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott says he has fired one of his deputies after he demanded a woman expose herself, then told him he would help her reduce her criminal charges.

      Lott said 31-year-old Tracy Stephens also was arrested Thursday and charged with criminal sexual conduct and misconduct in office.

      The sheriff says Stephens arrested a woman on May 15 for driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license and simple possession of marijuana charges. After she was booked, investigators say the woman complained that Stephens ordered her to expose herself and touch herself inappropriately.

      Lott says Stephens was fired after an internal investigation. He had worked for the sheriff's department for 18 months.

      It wasn't known if Stephens had a lawyer.

      Lott released a statement saying he has high standards of professionalism and accountability and expects personnel of the Richland County Sheriff??s Department to maintain those standards. Eight hundred men and women of the Richland County Sheriff??s Department serve all citizens with professionalism, passion and commitment every day. The fact that one person decided to misuse his authority and victimize a citizen does not reflect the exceptional people that work for the Richland County Sheriff??s Department.

      The sheriff says any concern expressed by all citizens to the department will be investigated thoroughly.

      (The Associated Press contributed to this report.)