A Hamilton County Sheriff’s deputy was recently indicted on 44 criminal charges “pertaining to incidents he was involved in while on duty in an official capacity.” Charges against 26-year-old Deputy Daniel Wilkey include 25 felonies, including rape, sexual battery, extortion and reckless endangerment.
He’s charged with misdemeanors that include assault, stalking and reckless driving.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that the charges against Wilkey involve allegations about misconduct during traffic stops, including a forced baptism, illegal drug searches and groping female minors.
A woman says Wilkey groped her during a search this past February, asked if she had been “saved” and then forced her to choose between being arrested and being dunked in Soddy Lake in a “baptism.”
This past July, the Hamilton County District Attorney General released a dash cam recording that showed Wilkey and another deputy “kicking, punching and stripping the pants off a handcuffed” man before they allegedly performed a roadside body cavity search.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation investigated the case before giving its findings to the Hamilton County prosecutor.
The handcuffed man has filed a lawsuit against the county and its two deputies. Lawsuits against Wilkey involve allegations of groping during a traffic stop and the alleged forced baptism.
According to the news report, Wilkey was hired by the county in February of last year after leaving the Rhea County Sheriff’s Office six months earlier. In February of 2017, the county northeast of Chattanooga settled a lawsuit that claimed that while a Rhea County employee, Wilkey fatally shot a man.