Jail records raise questions of influence in Moreland’s court

Lucas Frawley, L, and Desiree Moss (WSMV)

A woman who initially denied an intimate relationship with a sheriff’s deputy now says she had sex with the man who repeatedly escorted her into court.

Desiree Moss said the relationship was underway while she was in Judge Casey Moreland’s drug court, and while Deputy Lucas Frawley was working in the same court.

“I’m going on the record and saying there was a physical relationship while I was in drug court,” Moss told the Channel 4 I-Team.

A month ago, Moss told the I-Team there had been no physical relationship while she was in custody or drug court.

Moss and Frawley’s relationship sparked a sheriff’s department administrative investigation, because deputies who have sex with inmates can be charged with a sex crime. Deputies are considered authority figures.

Moss said the sex only happened during a time when she was out of jail and living in a halfway house while participating in drug court.

“It never happened in the courthouse itself. He never touched me inappropriately when I was an inmate or dressed out. It happened while I was on the streets, in regular clothes,” she said.

The relationship has become another headache for the embattled Judge Moreland. He has stepped away from overseeing the drug court after the I-Team exposed him texting from the bench, referring to his defendants as “hos and junkies,” and admitting he is undergoing alcohol abuse treatment.

The I-Team also obtained Moreland’s emails that showed he drafted a statement to send to us, but never did. The statement read in part, “After looking into the matter, I determined that in fact an inappropriate relationship had occurred.”

Moss said she initially lied to protect her and Frawley’s reputations. She said she has already spoken to Metro police sex crime detectives.

“It looked weird telling investigators the truth and sitting on the news telling a whole different story,” Moss said.

Frawley said he had no comment about Moss’ claims.

Metro police confirm detectives had spoken with Moss, but she hasn’t done a formal interview yet, so no investigation is underway. If police do launch an investigation and determine a crime was committed, then there is another question: did Moreland have knowledge of a crime?

Moreland told the I-Team he saw an intimate photo of the two and then told Frawley to resign.

Copyright 2017 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Chief Investigative Reporter

Jeremy Finley is the News4 I-Team's Chief Investigative Reporter. He has won multiple Midsouth Emmy and Edward R. Murrow Awards.

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