2 former Bibb County sheriff's deputies indicted in sexual assau - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

2 former Bibb County sheriff's deputies indicted in sexual assault investigation

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Two former Bibb County sheriff's deputies have been indicted by a grand jury on multiple charges stemming from an investigation into a sexual assault of a juvenile, the district attorney's office announced.

Ervin Lee Heard, a 42-year-old former supervisor for the sheriff's office, was implicated in a 20-count indictment that included first-degree charges of sexual abuse, sodomy, human trafficking and theft of property, among others. His bond has been set at $100,000.

Ralph Burnell Jr., a 43-year-old former warden at the county jail and current police chief in Vance, Ala., was indicted on charges of intimidating a witness, obstructing governmental operations and tampering with physical evidence. His bond has been set at $10,000.

The indictment comes five months after a complaint against Heard was filed by a juvenile victim with the district attorney's office, which prompted an independent investigation that revealed multiple victims and crimes.

Heard was placed on suspension in September before his eventual dismissal following the allegations. Burnell left the sheriff's office in February 2012 to take his current position with the Vance Police Department.

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