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Retired Navy officer convicted of sexually assaulting teen relative

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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

A 54-year-old retired Navy officer was convicted on child sex charges last Friday after authorities say he sexually abused a young relative for over a year.

Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said Erick Alberto Arroyo, of Mt. Pleasant, was found guilty of committing two counts of second degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and lew act upon a minor.

According to court documents, Arroyo's 13-year-old victim reported the abuse on September 2009, after her mother caught Arroyo on top of her daughter. The victim testified in court that Arroyo began the abuse by telling her he wanted to teacher her about sex so she would not have to experiment with boys.

Documents state the abuse progressed from fondling to intercourse.

Assistant Solicitor Elizabeth Gordon, lead prosecutor in the case, praised the outcome,"This victim had a lot to lose by coming forward. Many of her family members turned their backs on her when she was finally able to tell of the abuse she endured at the hands of a family member everyone admired. He was an engineer, a retired Navy officer. It took a great deal of courage to confront the man who had done this to her and to have to testify in great detail in front of a room full of strangers about abuse that she so desperately would prefer to forget. It was obvious the victim was telling the truth, and I am very pleased that the jury could see that."

Wilson said Judge J.C. Nicholson delayed sentencing and ordered Arroyo to submit to a psychological evaluation to determine whether the defendant should be considered a sexual predator. Once that evaluation is complete, Arroyo will be sentenced.

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