UNION — A Union Public Safety officer has been suspended after being arrested by SLED for allegedly assaulting a woman in December of last year.
In a statement released this morning, the Union Public Safety Department announced that “on July 17, 2017, City of Union Public Safety Officer Mark A. Smith was arrested and charged in an incident that was unrelated to his employment with the Union Public Safety Department. Since Officer Smith was charged with Assault and Battery 1st Degree, he was immediately suspended without pay pending final disposition of his case.”
The press release states that “as is customary in cases involving a Public Safety Officer this matter was investigated by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and any further questions should be directed to the SLED Information Office.”
Contacted by The Union Times about the case, SLED’s Freedom of Information Office released the warrant and affidavit issued for Smith’s arrest. The affidavit includes a “warrant native” which states that “on December 27, 2016, in the County of Union, one Mark A. Smith did commit an Assault and Battery in the 1st degree by touching the private parts, as defined in section 16-3-600 (A)(3) of the South Carolina Code of Laws, of (redacted) without her consent or permission and with lewd and lascivious intent. Affiant’s belief is based upon a SLED investigation.”
The affidavit also includes “case facts” about the incident with certain information, such as the name of the victim and Smith’s address, redacted. The case facts states that:
“On December 27, 2016, (redacted) was cleaning the residence of Mark A. Smith, which is located at (redacted). While cleaning in the kitchen area of the residence, Smith approached (redacted) from behind, turned her around, pulled her in close and kissed her. When Smith pulled (redacted) into him, he touched/rubbed her lower back and upper buttock area. The kiss and touching by Smith were nonconsensual and unwanted by (redacted).
“(Redacted) notified Smith’s employer, the Union Department of Public Safety, of his actions and the investigative assistance of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) was requested. (Redacted) provided agents with a written statement detailing the allegation, along with copies of texts exchanged between her and Smith, which mentioned the incident. Additionally, Smith was interviewed by agents and admitted to pulling (redacted) in for a kiss and rubbing/touching her lower back and upper buttock area on December 27, 2016.”
Smith turned himself in at the Union County Jail Monday afternoon and after being processed was released on bond.