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<p>Former Nye County Sheriff deputy William Tidmarsh in happier times.</p>

Former Nye County Sheriff deputy William Tidmarsh in happier times.

Former Nye County Sheriff Deputy William Tidmarsh might never again carry a badge and gun, but at least he won’t be sporting prison stripes for the next few years for crimes he didn’t commit.

On Oct. 15, Nye County officials dismissed a host of charges against the former deputy - including gross or open lewdness, oppression under color of office and false imprisonment - after an investigation rife with allegations of a sheriff on a political witch hunt, jury tampering by an ally of Tidmarsh and evidence of witness harassment by investigators in the case.

A local woman initially accused Tidmarsh of sexual battery back in the wee hours of a dark, February 2009 Sunday morning after he drove her home from a bar where she had been drinking much of the night. Tidmarsh, on patrol at the time, says he was just acting as a Good Samaritan and maintained his innocence from day one of the probe, which CityLife first reported in 2009 (“Guilty until proven innocent,” July 30,2009) after having serious doubts about the case against him.

Tidmarsh partially credits CityLife coverage for “making the difference” and exposing what he calls a “corrupt” sheriff’s office and a district attorney staff who never had “all the facts” of what went on that night. Still four years and $30,000 in lawyer’s fees later, Tidmarsh will likely never again suit up as a deputy anywhere.

He has tried to survive with a retail job that barely pays him above minimum wage.

“This thing took over my entire life,” says Tidmarsh, “but I’d rather go down as a hero who helps others than go down as a nobody.”

Nye County Sheriff Tony DeMeo, who says there’s still an open internal affairs investigation into the matter, tells CityLife simply he wishes Tidmarsh “the best” in his future endeavors.

Officials with the Nye County District Attorney’s office didn’t return calls as to why they ultimately decided to drop all charges. CL