A 26-year-old South Carolina man will spend at least 17 years in prison after a state judge handed down a 20-year sentence. The man was sentenced on Aug. 6 after pleading guilty to criminal sexual conduct in the first degree. He had been facing a charge of sexual conduct with a minor in the first degree, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. The man will not be eligible for release until he has served at least 85 percent of his sentence according to reports.
The man was taken into custody following an investigation that began in October 2015. That was when an 8-year-old girl told her elementary school teachers that she had been the victim of a series of sexual assaults. Deputies from the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office conducted the initial inquiries, and the case was forwarded to the State Law Enforcement Division after investigators concluded that the girl’s accounts were credible.
The girl is said to have provided investigators with a harrowing account of sexual molestation and abuser that took place in Cherokee County over a three-year period. Prosecutors say that she told her counselors about specific places where she was abused and the sex acts that occurred.
Cases involving sex crimes can attract a great deal of media attention, which sometimes results in an obfuscation of the facts and a rush to judgement. When their clients face charges that could inflame a local community and taint the jury pool, experienced criminal defense attorneys may seek to have the case transferred to a more suitable jurisdiction where cooler heads are likely to prevail.
Source: The State, “8-year-old SC girl was molested for 3 years. Now this man is heading to prison”, Teddy Kulmala, Aug. 7, 2018