Lawsuit allegations trigger memories for sexual abuse victims

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – On Thursday, Sheriff Will Lewis came out publically dispelling any claims made in a lawsuit filed against him Monday on behalf of his former employee, Savannah Nabors.

The lawsuit includes claims such as “The plaintiff remembers regaining consciousness when the Sheriff was on top of her, having sex with her.”

However, Sheriff Lewis said, “There is zero validity to any criminal allegations in this, drugging, anything, nothing.”

However, for some people, watching this investigation play out brings back suppressed memories.

“[This] Maybe triggering to some people, and they may see reflections of their own story in the stories that are being shared,” said Jamika Nedwards, the Julie Valentine Center Crisis Program Director.

The Julie Valentine Center released a statement on their Facebook:

The Julie Valentine Center celebrates a long standing partnership with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.

We are grateful for the service and dedication of those who put their lives on the line each and every day for our community, and in particular those most vulnerable, victims of child abuse and sexual assault.

We support the work of those who fight these crimes and protect our community each day. We could not do the work that we do everyday without the partnership with Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.

However, JVC does not condone or support the behaviors that have been alleged and investigated against our current Sheriff. This is an unfortunate and disheartening distraction for our community.

About a dozen people gathered in front of the Law Enforcement Center Friday calling for the sheriff’s resignation. Some of the people in attendance say they relate to Nabors story laid out in the lawsuit.

“He took advantage of me,” said Adhalia Nix, who says she was sexually abused by her former boss. She said her mindset was, “I guess I have to do this to keep my job.”

Nedwards says the center sees “He said, She said” stories often.
“What makes it hard to investigate these crimes, is it is often times one person’s words against the other,” Nedwards said.

The center says they’re there to support and believe the victim.

“When you deal with crimes that are burglary or murder, there’s usually some physical evidence, and many times that’s not the case for a sexual assault or child abuse victim,” Nedwards said. “It’s a crime that’s against the soul and spirit and the mind often times.”

The Julie Valentine Center has a 24 hour hotline for any victim of sexual abuse.

That number is 864-467-3633.