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Lawmakers say Aiken County memo misinterprets new law aimed at stemming domestic violence


COLUMBIA, South Carolina — An Aiken County Sheriff's captain has instructed deputies not to file domestic violence charges unless the victim cooperates, citing a new law aimed at stemming South Carolina's persistently high rates of domestic abuse.

But the lawmakers who were instrumental in the law's passage say the directive is a gross misinterpretation.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports (http://bit.ly/1DVRxjg ) that Aiken County Capt. John Fogle told deputies not to make an arrest unless the victim is willing to prosecute. Fogle says in a memo he fears lawsuits could result, since the new law eliminated the mandatory arrest requirement.

House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford says the old must-arrest language was removed because officers were misinterpreting that to mean they had to make an arrest, even if there were no signs of abuse.

Information from: The Post and Courier, http://www.postandcourier.com

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