Georgia man accused of molesting boy at Orangeburg Co. travel center

Georgia man accused of molesting boy at Orangeburg Co. travel center

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A Georgia man is accused of molesting a boy at an Orangeburg County travel center.

The Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office charged 60-year-old Merlin Theriot, Jr. of Cumming, Ga. with third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

A magistrate denied bond for Theriot who sheriff's office officials say is a truck driver.

"I know that the judge was just doing her job but I am thankful that she denied his bond," Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said. "This makes our streets a little safer."

According to OSCO officials, Orangeburg County Magistrate Meree Williamson told Theriot she believed he posed a potential threat to the safety of others.

"I deem you in my eyes to be a danger to other children," she said.

Ravenell said Theriot was arrested Sunday after a Midlands father called 911 stating someone had molested his 8-year-old son at the Pilot travel center off I-26 near Bowman.

"The child told his father that a man inside the restroom had touched him inappropriately," the sheriff said. "The child said the man asked him to touch him in a similar manner. The child refused, however."

"During Tuesday's hearing, the victim's father said his son approached him immediately after the incident to tell him what happened," OSCO officials said."He described himself to the court as being angry and upset as the result of the assault on his son."

"I'm just asking the court to protect my family, protect other children," he said.

According to the sheriff's office, when the magistrate asked Theriot what other, if any, crimes he had been charged with, the Georgia man replied, "Same thing."

Theriot told the court he had been sentenced to probation after that previous charge, OSCO officials said.

Copyright 2015 WCSC. All rights reserved.