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South Carolina businessman facing felony sexual misconduct charge

Reports indicate that a South Carolina businessman and community leader was charged with sexual misconduct against a minor, and he was detained on Aug. 25. The alleged incident may have led to him leaving his position in a local business group.

Police report that a teenaged boy filed a complaint against the 55-year-old man, alleging forced sexual activity that the boy claims occurred on July 4. Authorities say the teen allegedly told the man numerous times to cease the activity. After the complaint was filed, the business owner reportedly resigned from his position on the Walterboro-Colleton County Chamber of Commerce. His attorney stated that decision was made in order to avoid casting negative light on the organization.

Police charged the man with criminal sexual misconduct, a felony that could lead to as much as a decade in prison. He was released after posting $10,000 bail. According to the man's attorney, the teenager was terminated from his employment at the antique shop prior to the filing of the complaint. Although it was not stated why the teen was fired, the man and his attorney plan to provide specifics that led to that decision.

Charges for criminal sexual conduct with a minor or other sex crimes can have serious effects on someone's personal and professional life. In order to avoid the damage these allegations have on an individual's reputation, he or she may decide to consult with an attorney to build a strong, credible defense. An attorney in these cases could potentially challenge the validity of DNA evidence or an alleged victim's testimony. If evidence against the defendant seems strong, an attorney could also pursue a plea deal that could possibly alleviate some of the penalties associated with the charges.

Source: The Post and Courier, "Walterboro businessman, Chamber of Commerce official arrested on sex charge", Andrew Knapp, August 25, 2014

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