Chapter

The sheriff who didn’t know what hit him

Roger W. Shuy

in The Language of Sexual Misconduct Cases

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199926961
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199980505 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199926961.003.0015
The sheriff who didn’t know what hit him

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This chapter takes a look at the case of Sheriff William Preston, who was accused of sexual misconduct by a secretary in one of the law enforcement departments. It notes that the sheriff had no previous records of sexual misconduct behavior, and was not a reported lecher. Despite the number of video and audio recording devices that were installed in the secretary's work area, the only piece of evidence available was an unclear recording of a conversation between the secretary and the sheriff. It considers the representations of both the sheriff and the secretary, which appear to be uncertain and ambiguous based on the recording. It also examines the inaccuracy of the transcript, as well as the sense of interpersonal trust that existed between the sheriff and the secretary before the accusations were made. The chapter concludes with a section on whether the sheriff apologized and/or confessed to his behavior.

Keywords: recording devices; law enforcement; sexual misconduct behavior; representations; inaccuracy; interpersonal trust; apology; confession

Chapter.  4230 words. 

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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