Former Murray County jail detention officer charged with sexual assault

Bryson Wallace Starks

A former Murray County Sheriff's Office detention officer has been charged by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation with violation of oath by a public officer and three counts of sexual assault against a person in custody, on probation/parole or a patient in a hospital or other institution.

Bryson Wallace Starks, 24, of Resaca, was arrested Friday following an investigation.

Murray County Chief Deputy Jimmy Davenport said an inmate in the jail reported "inappropriate conduct" by Starks to other jail staff on March 7, 2019.

"That went up the chain of command and he was placed on suspended leave on March 8 and was terminated for violation of policy on March 13," Davenport said. "I hold myself and the staff to high standards. People make choices, and if someone on our staff makes a choice that violates our policies or violates the law, I won't tolerate it."

When asked what policy Starks violated, Davenport said "the code of conduct."

"I asked the GBI to come in and do an investigation," Davenport said. "The case sort of went cold until Jan. 17 when additional information was obtained and he was arrested."

Joe Montgomery, GBI special agent in charge of the Calhoun office, which is handling the investigation, said he could not discuss the details of the case because the investigation is ongoing. He said one inmate was involved.

Starks was in the Whitfield County Jail Wednesday afternoon. Davenport said it is customary when law enforcement officers are arrested not to house them in a jail operated by the department they worked for.

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