Gadsden, AL – Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin is under investigation for allegedly hosting cocaine parties with underage girls, after Mary Elizabeth Cross came forward with claims that she had sex with Entrekin on four separate occasions in the early 90’s; when she was 15 and he was 29.
The alleged victim, now 41, told AL.com that Entrekin would use the “alcohol, cocaine and cash” as a quid pro quo for sex with the underage girls. Additionally, Cross said that “she did not attempt to refuse Entrekin’s advances… she also personally watched him rape another underage girl who repeatedly said no.”
The exclusive report by AL.com comes after a two-month long investigation into Cross's allegations:
She described the alleged encounters to an AL.com reporter during hours-long drives across multiple Alabama counties in Oneonta Police Chief Charles Clifton's SUV on May 22 and 24, during which Clifton also questioned her in his capacity as a law enforcement official.
The interviews were arranged within days of Clifton notifying an AL.com reporter that he had been made aware of a woman who said that Entrekin had sex with her when she was a minor.
Clifton pursued the claims after the Rainbow City Police Department declined to do so, and he recorded the allegations in the Oneonta Police Department incident report, which he filed on May 29. Cross has also handwritten an official statement detailing her claims for the Oneonta Police. AL.com has obtained copies of both documents, neither of which have been released to the public.
The Free Thought Project has time and time again exposed the phenomena of police acting as though they are above the law, and while not implying guilt or innocence in this particular case, the regularity with which these types of cases happen is mind boggling.
Cross discussed some of the specifics surrounding her allegations Entrekin with AL.com:
"I had shown up after the game, but that's what they had been doing. They had all been drinking, hanging out on the boat and all that," she said. "There was drugs [cocaine], but [Entrekin] was just having sex, he was drinking and having sex."
"I was 15. It was right before my sixteenth birthday and I remember telling everyone I couldn't wait to turn 16 so I could drive," she said. "We ended up at the lake house that night, and that's where I had sex with Entrekin."
"It was drugs, you know what I'm saying? It was free drugs for us. We never had to pay for drugs, so for us sex just became a payment for it," she said.
"[Entrekin] always provided the boat, the drinking - the deal was always that he provided stuff, the extravagant living. He always had money on him, he was always OK with everybody bringing drugs, he always knew that it was there. He always made me feel good, he always made me feel like I was important."
Entrekin steadfastly denies the allegations against him and maintains that he has never met Cross before in his life.
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“I’ve never had sex with any 15-year-old girl or had drugs around or anything,” he told AL.com during a phone interview. “I have never done drugs in my life. That’s the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard of. Never, ever has anything like that happened before.”
Of course, Entrekin is no stranger to controversy, as he brazen, but legally, took $750,000 budgeted to feed jail inmates over the past 3 years, and instead, spend $740,000 on a private beach house in an exclusive neighborhood, a reporter for The Birmingham Newsfound.
The reason he hasn’t been charged for this seeming impropriety is that it’s completely legal in Alabama. Despite seeming completely immoral to take taxpayer money for private use, a depression-era law allows sheriffs to "keep and retain" unspent funds from jail food-provision accounts, according to state law and local officials.
Entrekin told AL.com that he follows that practice of taking extra money from the fund, saying, "The law says it's a personal account and that's the way I've always done it."
Note that legality doesn’t always equal morality.
Donald Rhea, an attorney representing Entrekin, wrote a letter to Etowah County District Attorney Jody Willoughby, in which he requested the matter be investigated by “the State Bureau of Investigation or to the appropriate investigatory entity.”
"Sheriff Entrekin has instructed me to convey to you his request that this matter be immediately forwarded to the State Bureau of Investigation or to the appropriate investigatory entity so that the things and matters alleged to have occurred be thoroughly and immediately investigated by an independent agency," the letter says, according to AL.com.
Entrekin was defeated in a June Republican primary election for Sheriff, likely due to the controversy surrounding his use of taxpayer money, meant to feed inmates, to buy himself an expensive beach house.