BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A convicted rapist who was set to be released from prison has been committed into a state mental health department treatment program.
A Berkeley County jury committed Michael Myers, formerly of Moncks Corner, into the state's Sexually Violent Predator Treatment program in connection with a February, 1992 sexual assault.
On Dec. 10, 1992, Myers pleaded guilty to first degree criminal sexual conduct, first degree burglary and and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to thirty years in prison.
He was due to be released from prison in February, but prior to his release date, the state's Attorney General's Office initiated a civil commitment action to have him placed into the program for long-term control, care and treatment, according to Attorney General's Office spokesman J. Mark Powell.
Powell said the state was required to prove to the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Myers was convicted of a sexually violent offense, and that he suffers from a mental abnormality or personality disorder that makes him likely to engage in future acts of sexual violence if not confined in a secure facility for treatment.
Berkeley County deputies said Myers forced his way into the apartment of a 30-year-old woman at knife point in February of 1992. He repeatedly raped her, forced her ten year-old son to watch, and threatened to kill them, investigators said. Deputies with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office responded to neighbors' reports of screams coming from the apartment, and apprehended Myers as he tried to run away.
Powell says there are approximately 100 people in the program and that inmates may voluntarily commit themselves if they feel they are a threat to the public.
Myers will be reviewed annually to assess his mental status, and determine whether his mental abnormality and/or personality disorder has so changed he is safe to be at large.