Tuesday, November 12, 2019 10:00 AM EST
By JEFFREY COLLINS, AP
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina sheriff charged with domestic violence last week says he's taking a leave of absence.
Colleton County Sheriff R.A. Strickland said in a statement he'll take the time to heal and self-reflect.
Strickland was charged with second-degree criminal domestic violence.
An arrest warrant says the 40-year-old sheriff punched a woman in his home in the face more than once and took her cellphones so she couldn't call for help.
Strickland's statement Monday evening didn't mention the allegations but did say he plans to be stronger and a better public official when he returns to his job.
The charge against Strickland is a misdemeanor. He faces up to three years in prison if convicted.
Nine sheriffs in South Carolina have been convicted of crimes this decade.