On December 5, 2017, Tuesday just after midnight, deputies responded to a suspicious person hiding around railroad cars near 100 Graphic Packaging International Way. Deputies located a female sitting between two rail cars. While speaking with the female, she told deputies that she had been sexually assaulted on a previous night and that it was a deputy that had assaulted her. The 43 year old female was transported to a local hospital. Investigators with the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the incident.
During the initial investigation, information was given that the incident occurred at the Macon Inn located at 1044 Riverside Drive. A deputy with the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office had brought the female victim to the hotel just after 11:00 p.m. Sunday, December 3, 2017 and got a room for her. The deputy, later identified as James Stiles, then pulled his car around the side and was reported to have entered the same room that the victim had entered. He was in uniform at the time and was driving a patrol vehicle. The deputy had been working an off-duty job that evening and picked the female up after responding with other deputies to an assistance call for a stranded person.
It was discovered that Deputy Tabitha Costello also made contact with the victim in the early morning hours of Monday, December 4, 2017 after the victim had called the 911 Center to report the incident. Deputy Costello failed to initiate an incident report at that time. It is unclear why Deputy Costello failed to follow through with initiating an investigation into this incident when she was made aware of it. This is being looked into by Bibb Sheriff’s Internal Affairs.
Criminal Investigators with the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office have consulted with the Bibb District Attorney’s Office on the incident. As a result of this consultation, District Attorney David Cooke requested that the GBI be called in to conduct an investigation of the incident also.
The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs Division is conducting an internal investigation on both Deputy Stiles and Deputy Costello. Both Deputy Stiles and Deputy Costello are currently suspended with pay, pending the investigation.
Bibb Sheriff David Davis said, “These allegations of misconduct by our deputies is extremely concerning. Once the investigations are complete, we will move swiftly to hold each of the deputies accountable for any dereliction of duty in this case.”