The Latest: Prosecutor says sheriff tarnished his badge

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A prosecutor told a South Carolina jury that a sheriff who used his office to persuade a young assistant to have sex with him tarnished his badge …

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The Latest on a suspended South Carolina sheriff on trial (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

A prosecutor says a sheriff tarnished his badge by using his office to persuade a young assistant to have sex with him.

Solicitor Kevin Brackett ended his closing argument Thursday by calling suspended Greenville County Sheriff Will Lewis a “dirty cop.” He told jurors hearing two misconduct charges against Lewis that they could put the shine back on the badge by convicting Lewis.

The sheriff’s lawyer Rauch Wise said in his closing argument that a one-night stand in a hotel room with a subordinate is a moral failing, not a crime.

Prosecutors say the 43-year-old Lewis paid the then-22-year-old assistant $62,000 a year and organized an out-of-town budget trip to have sex with her away from his wife and family. They say he then used his power to make her do what he wanted to keep her job.

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This item has been edited to fix AP style on “closing argument.”

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12 p.m.

A South Carolina sheriff says while he probably would have fired a supervisor who had sex with a subordinate like he did, that person shouldn’t be charged with a crime.

Suspended Greenville County Sheriff Will Lewis finished testifying in his own defense Thursday in his misconduct in office trial.

Prosecutors say Lewis committed a crime by paying the then 22-year-old $62,000 a year and giving her a vehicle and other perks to persuade her into a sexual relationship and by wielding his power as sheriff over her.

Lewis’ cross examination was testy. Lewis suggested prosecutor Willy Thompson just wanted him to say he was guilty. Thompson said while Lewis claimed to pay attention to detail, his memory had gaps when the truth would hurt him.

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