Three Internal Affairs Investigations of Jeffcoat - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

12/15/04

Three Internal Affairs Investigations of Jeffcoat

A former Savannah police officer charged with rape and kidnapping will be in court tomorrow for his preliminary hearing. At 9am a judge will decide if there's enough evidence against Albert Jeffcoat to send the case to Superior Court.

Effingham deputies arrested Jeffcoat on November 24 for handcuffing and sexually assaulting a woman. Jeffcoat told WTOC the woman was his wife and their divorce was final the day the incident took place.

Jeffcoat resigned from the Savannah Police Department last March after 13 years on the force. WTOC now knows the circumstances surrounding his sudden resignation. We have obtained Jeffcoat's personnel file from police, and we were surprised by what we found.

When former corporal Jeffcoat left the department, he was in the public eye a lot. He was the crime prevention officer assigned to Savannah's south side.

He joined the force in 1991. Throughout his career, he received high marks from his supervisors, but he was also investigated three times by internal affairs. It was the third investigation in November of last year which got Jeffcoat in hot water.

The complaint was made by a woman from North Carolina with whom Jeffcoat admitted having an extramarital affair. She told Savannah police and North Carolina authorities when she ended their three-month affair, Jeffcoat began threatening her.

She told investigators on several occasions he threatened to kill her husband, kidnap her and her children, and at times he also threatened to kill himself.

It's a story similar to charges made against Jeffcoat just last month, by his ex-wife. In that case, he's accused of handcuffing her to a tree, forcing her to perform sexual acts and threatening to kill her.

Police in North Carolina did not file charges against Jeffcoat.

In Savannah, the police department's internal affairs office found out he was visiting her at her home in Wilmington, North Carolina a lot, when he was supposed to on duty in Savannah.

Investigators concluded he violated several department policies, the most serious: conduct unbecoming of an officer and absence without proper leave.

Jeffcoat refuted the allegations, but before the department could decide if it need to take action against him, Jeffcoat resigned.

The other two internal affairs investigation were not sustained. They involved a complaint made about unnecessary physical force during a traffic stop and a false arrest complaint.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

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