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2 Bibb deputies suspended amid GBI, BSO sexual assault investigation

James Stiles (left) and Tabitha Costello (right) have both been suspended with pay amid a GBI and BSO sexual assault investigation. (Bibb County Sheriff's Office)

MACON, Ga. (WGXA) - The Bibb County Sheriff's Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are currently investigating an alleged sexual assault involving a Bibb County sheriff's deputy.

According to a release from the sheriff's office, on Tuesday, Dec. 5 around midnight, deputies responded to a person hiding near railroad cars close to 100 Graphic Packaging International Way.

The release states that deputies discovered a 43-year-old woman who alleged that she had been sexually assaulted by Bibb County sheriff's Deputy James Stiles on a previous night. The woman was transported to a local hospital.

During the initial investigation, it was alleged that the incident involving the woman and Stiles occurred at the Macon Inn, located at 1044 Riverside Drive.

The release states that Stiles brought the victim to the hotel at approximately 11 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3 and got a room for her. The release confirms that at the time of the incident, Stiles was in uniform and was also driving a patrol vehicle. He had been working an off-duty position that evening and picked up the victim after responding with other deputies to an assistance call for a stranded person.

During the investigation, it was also discovered that Deputy Tabitha Costello made contact with the victim early in the morning on Monday, Dec. 4 after the victim had called 911 to report what had happened.

The release states that Costello did not create an incident report and it is unclear why she did not initiate an investigation when she was made aware of the incident. Bibb Sheriff's Internal Affairs is currently looking into this circumstance.

According to the release, criminal investigators with the Bibb County Sheriff's Office have consulted with the Bibb District Attorney's Office regarding this incident, and District Attorney David Cooke has requested that the GBI also conduct an investigation.

Both Stiles and Costello have an internal investigation being conducted on them and are both currently suspended with pay, pending the investigation.

Bibb Sheriff David Davis said, “These allegations of misconduct by our deputies is extremely concerning. Once the investigations are complete, we will move swiftly to hold each of the deputies accountable for any dereliction of duty in this case.”

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