An Alabama sheriff — dubbed “the beach house sheriff” after he came under national scrutiny for buying an expensive home with funds meant to feed inmates — was reportedly under investigation Monday after allegations surfaced of sex with underage girls at parties he organized.
Mary Elizabeth Cross, 41, told AL.com she had sex with Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin four times in 1992, when she was 15 and he was 29. Cross said “did not attempt to refuse” Entrekin’s advances and claimed she saw him rape an underage girl. The age of consent in the state is 16.
“My friend was raped and asked to not be touched. She said ‘No’ several times. Finally the drugs took over and as she became high my friend was raped by Todd Entrekin and [a local man who was not in law enforcement],” Cross’ handwritten statement said.
The incidents occurred on a property owned by Entrekin in Rainbow City. Cross said the sheriff provided the girl with “alcohol, cocaine and cash on multiple occasions.” She claimed Entrekin knew she was underage.
At the time, Entrekin was the commander of the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office drug task force. Oneonta Police Chief Charles Clifton contacted AL.com regarding Cross, saying he became “aware of a woman who said that Entrekin had sex with her when she was a minor.”
Clifton filed an incident report May 29 regarding the allegations, which Entrekin denies.
“I’ve never had sex with any 15-year-old girl or had drugs around or anything. I have never done drugs in my life,” he told AL.com. “That’s the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard of. Never, ever has anything like that happened before.”
Entrekin’s lawyer sent a letter to Etowah County District Attorney Jody Willoughby’s office “calling for a state agency to investigate the claims.
“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 stated.
Cross also alleged that while she was underage she had sex with two longtime Etowah County law enforcement officers and another man who did not work for the department. The men were not named and the two officers are no longer employed in the county.
“Ms. Cross indicated that Todd and other officers were there having sex with underaged (sic) girls and providing them with cocaine and alcohol,” the incident report stated.
“During the party where cocaine and alcohol was being consumed, she observed Todd Entrekin and [the local man]…forcibly raped (sic) [Cross’s friend],” the report continued. “Cross said that once the two were finished with [her friend] one of them slapped her on the butt and asked her if she enjoyed it.”
Entrekin came under scrutiny earlier this year after his beach house purchase. The sheriff did not deny that he and his wife, Karen, own about $1.7 million in real estate, including the beach home with a built-in-pool worth about $740,000 and a two-story home in Orange Beach worth about $200,900. Entrekin’s annual salary is $93,178.80, AL.com reported.
He defended the decision to keep the cash that had been earmarked for inmate food and buy the home. In Alabama, it’s possible for sheriffs to personally profit from jail meals. In many cases, the less a sheriff spends on feeding inmates, the more he or she can make. He was defeated in a primary election last month by Rainbow City Police Chief Jonathon Horton.