Dispatcher on administrative leave following sexual assault inve - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Dispatcher on administrative leave following sexual assault investigation

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FRANKLIN CO. -- Board members of the Central Dispatch of West Franklin County voted Wednesday night to place former Franklin County Sheriff's Deputy Christopher Hampton on unpaid administrative leave, indefinitely. 

Hampton faces charges of criminal sexual assault and custodial sexual misconduct. The felonies stem from an incident in January of 2016. Following the incident, the Franklin County Sheriff placed Hampton on administrative leave and he later resigned then began work at the dispatch center. 

Neighbors around town remain concerned about the former deputy's case, including Buckner-resident Angela Clark.

"I have two small grand daughters, three and four, and you raise your children to look up and respect police officers," Clark said. "They're the ones that put their life on the line to protect you, they're not supposed to hurt you."

Rebecca Whittington serves as general councel for the West Franklin County Central Dispatch board. She told News 3 Hampton's position will be held open, but he will not be on staff or payroll.

"Public safety is the number one concern of this board and this entity," Whittington said. "One person under investigation is less important than that we have standards operating procedures that everyone follows."

The move makes people question why the board didn't act sooner, but it puts others at ease.

"I'm not saying all law enforcement are bad," Clark said. "I have a high respect for them but it just makes you take pause on who do you trust?"

This all comes after Hampton appeared in court Wednesday for a bond reduction hearing. Sources told News 3 a judge reduced Hampton's bail from $150 thousand dollars to just $5 thousand dollars, adding he was bailed out of Franklin County Jail Wednesday afternoon.

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