Man sentenced for raping, molesting 10-year-old in Beaufort

BEAUFORT, SC (WCSC) - A Beaufort man has pleaded guilty to molesting and raping a 10-year-old girl he was supposed to be caring for, just as jury selection was beginning for his trial.

Jimmy Selsey, 40, pleaded guilty Monday morning to three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, said 14th Circuit Solicitor's Office Spokesman Daniel Brownstein.

He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

The charges are connected to a string of incidents that occurred in October 2011 when he fondled and had intercourse with a 10-year-old girl he was caring for at a home on Lafayette Street in Beaufort.

The victim told a family member that she had been abused by Selsey on several occasions. The family called the police and took the girl to the hospital for an evaluation. She also disclosed the abuse during a forensic interview with Hope Haven.

"The community is a safer place now that Jimmy Selsey can't do this to another child," said assistant solicitor Mary Jordan Lempesis, who prosecuted the case. "He looked for someone he had easy access to and molested a child he was supposed to be caring for while her mother was at work. I am proud of this little girl for having the strength to report the abuse to her family and for being willing to testify in the trial if it had moved forward."

Family members report the girl has been doing better in school than while the abuse was occurring and is once again a happy child.

Judge Carmen Mullen handed down the sentence, which by law, requires Selsey to serve at least 85 percent of it before being eligible for parole.

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