Houston & Peach

Ex-Fort Valley State police officer arrested in sexual misconduct case

Wilbur Bryant
Wilbur Bryant

An investigation into sexual misconduct led to the arrest of a former Fort Valley State University police officer.

Wilbur Bryant, 52, turned himself in Friday at the Peach County Sheriff’s Office, according to a GBI news release.

Bryant is accused of simple battery, bribery and two counts of violation of oath of office.

In April, a former student accused Bryant of sexual misconduct, which launched the GBI investigation.

Investigators concluded Bryant went to the woman’s residence in uniform and made physical contact with her without the student’s consent, the release stated.

He later called the woman and made “numerous explicit sexual comments,” the release stated.

Bryant resigned from the university police department two days before the Peach County Sheriff’s Office asked the GBI to investigate.

Bryant had a first appearance hearing Friday morning at the Peach County Courthouse before Judge David L. Mincey III of the Macon Judicial Circuit. Bond was set at $10,000.

Special conditions of bond state that Bryant should have no contact with the victim, is banned from FVSU property and events, cannot work as a law enforcement officer or security in Peach County, and cannot work elsewhere as a law enforcement officer or security without Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council approval, according to the bond order.

Bryant’s attorney could not be reached for comment.

In May, the woman filed a lawsuit against Bryant, who was a lieutenant with campus police at the time of the lawsuit’s allegations. The university and the state Board of Regents also are named in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit states that in February Bryant initially offered to make misdemeanor charges against the woman “go away if she stuck with him.”

Bryant’s advances escalated to offers of gifts and trips in exchange for sex in a March incident in which Bryant used a key he had access to as a campus police officer to let himself into the student’s dormitory room, according to the lawsuit.

Once in the room, Bryant took the woman’s foot against her will and sucked on her toes and rubbed his penis against the bottom of her foot in a grinding motion, the lawsuit states. He also allegedly tried to kiss her.

Six days after the incident, Bryant called the woman — making sexually explicit references about her, offering to help her with her misdemeanor case in exchange for sexual favors and offering her gifts and trips, the lawsuit states.

According to the lawsuit, this isn’t the first time Bryant has been accused of inappropriate behavior.

He was accused of sexual harassment in 2011. He was counseled for having an inappropriate friendship with an FVSU student and for causing damage to the student’s property in that same year. And he was counseled for making inappropriate and off-color remarks toward a female coworker in 2013, the lawsuit states.

Bryant was also suspended for one day for unprofessional conduct in 2014 and required to take additional training “due to his insensitive interaction with coworkers,” the lawsuit states.