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Chesapeake deputy accused of sexually assaulting woman at the Oceanfront

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Posted at 8:10 PM, Jun 20, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-20 20:10:29-04

As a Sheriff’s Deputy, it’s Michael Southerland’s job to enforce the law.

Last month, Beach Police say he did the exact opposite.

Southerland has been charged with sexually assaulting a woman they say he knew at the Oceanfront.

Court documents say, Southerland raped her by way of “her mental incapacity or physical helplessness.”

Southerland has worked for the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Department for more than four years. Typically, he’s out serving court documents like subpoenas.

Now he’s been suspended and placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of this investigation.

NewsChannel 3 stopped by Southerland’s house for a comment where he directed us to his lawyer Andrew Sacks.

Sacks tells NewsChannel 3, Southerland is “absolutely innocent.”

He adds Southerland is “disappointed the victim characterized their interaction as rape.”

Southerland was released on a secured bond and is scheduled to have his preliminary hearing next month.

Click here to read previous story.