Tipton deputy suspended after accusations of sex with teen

Jason Cochran, photo courtesy Tipton County Sheriff's Office.
Jason Cochran, photo courtesy Tipton County Sheriff's Office.

(WMC-TV) - A Tipton County Sheriff's Deputy is suspended and under investigation after he was accused of sexual misconduct.

Sheriff's Deputy Jason Cochran is off the streets and on unpaid leave after he was accused of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl.

"It's still very much ongoing, there are still other witnesses and evidence that needs to be found and gathered," said District Attorney General Mike Dunavant.

The sheriff's department started an internal investigation last Monday, but Deputy Cochran has not been officially charged.  

"All of the allegations regarding the contact were off duty, that is, they were not committed during the time when he was acting in his capacity as a sheriff's deputy," said Dunvant.

The alleged sexual contact between Deputy Cochran and the 17-year-old girl happened within the past two months.

District Attorney Mike Dunavant says if the allegations are true, Deputy Cochran will be charged with aggravated statutory rape.  

If he is charged, an immediate warrant could be issued for Cochran's arrest or the case could be presented to the Tipton County grand jury in July.

"This type of conduct will not be tolerated and is certainly not the current standard of quality employees at the Sheriff's Office," said Tipton County Sheriff Pancho Chumley in a press release.

"Just as in this case, even when we have not received a complaint from a victim, we become aware of any questionable conduct by any employee we will request it to be investigated. I feel this is the only way to maintain the standards the citizens of Tipton County deserve and I demand it at the Tipton County Sheriff's Office," he said.

No one at the Tipton County Sheriff's Department would speak on camera about the investigation.

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