The Richland County
Sheriff's Department has released surveillance video of a former
Columbia police officer and an alleged teen prostitute
after what investigators say was a tryst at a Columbia area motel.
Deputies arrested Mark A. Cornish, 32, last
Friday after receiving a tip that a uniformed officer entered a room at
the Econo Lodge off Two Notch Rd. with a known prostitute, identified as
When deputies arrived at the scene, Sheriff
Leon Lott said Cornish fled in his patrol car. He was found later in the
afternoon just a few blocks from the scene.
Deputies said Cornish had met the woman on more than one occasion.
In the video, you can see a girl coming out
of one of the rooms and, seconds later, a police officer in full uniform
walks out of the same room and heads in the other direction.
Investigators say that police officer was Mark Cornish.
Video from the motel parking lot shows the officer get into a Columbia police cruiser and drive off.
Columbia Police Chief Randy Scott fired
Cornish, who had been on the force for 2 years, on Wednesday. Scott said
Cornish was not cooperative in the CPD internal investigation.
"People do things sometimes we don't
understand why. And they make mistakes. I beg Columbia -- don't look at
this as Columbia Police. This was one person," said Scott. "Columbia PD
we'll be fine. We'll move on."
Cornish was a middle school resource officer
at W.A. Perry Middle School before being fired, and his Facebook page
suggests deep religious interests: he's a Chaplain candidate for the US
Army, and he's studying at Liberty University for his master's in
divinity. He's also married, according to the page.
In: Regional News
Tags: caught on tape, cctv, surveillance, cop arrested, sex with teen prostitute
Location: Columbia, South Carolina, United States (load item map)
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