COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Colleton County Sheriff R.A. Strickland has been indicted by a grand jury for second-degree domestic violence.

Sheriff Strickland was arrested for assault earlier this month after punching a female household member in the face – more than once – with a closed fist, according to documents from the State Law Enforcement Division.

The report stated the victim sustained a defensive injury to the arm in an attempt to protect her face.

It goes on to say Strickland physically took possession of the victim’s cell phones and tried blocking access to both phones, which prevented her from being able to report the incident or receive emergency medical assistance.

The injuries were photographed by SLED agents.

Strickland later announced he was taking a leave of absence following his arrest. His law enforcement certification was suspended on November 19th.

Following Thursday’s announcement of Strickland’s indictment, Governor Henry McMaster formally suspended the Colleton County sheriff through executive order.

SLED Lieutenant Charles Lytle Ghent, a resident of Edisto Beach, will serve as sheriff until Strickland is acquitted, convicted, the indictment is otherwise disposed of, or until a sheriff is elected and qualifies in the next general election.