Summerville man accused of exposing himself, soliciting children

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A 59-year-old Summerville man is facing charges after allegedly exposing himself to a child in a fast food restaurant's play area and soliciting sexual activity, deputies say.

Court documents state Wilfred Tompkins faces a charge of indecent exposure and two counts of criminal solicitation of a minor.

Tompkins surety bond was set Thursday evening at $250,000.

Tompkins was allegedly seen playing with children at a restaurant on College Park Road Wednesday afternoon. Suspicious of him, a woman kept an eye on a situation and told deputies she eventually saw him wave a 4-year-old girl behind a basketball goal and ask if she wanted candy before exposing himself and beginning to perform a sex act.

The woman screamed and parents were able to get the children out of the play area and restrain Tompkins until deputies arrived.

The 4-year-old victim's parents weren't at the restaurant when the incident happened, but say their children were with a grandparent.

The victim's mother said she and her husband came to the restaurant immediately and what has happened to their daughter is something they never thought could happen to them.

"I couldn't stop myself from crying it really did break my heart that her innocence was taken by this man," she said.

She said they were hoping Tompkins would not be given a bond for the three charges involving minors, but hope the high amount will keep him behind bars.

"We didn't get what, we wanted with him to get a no bond. But a $250,000 surety bond assures he won't get out, and I can live with that," the child's father said.

The parents addressed the judge during Thursday night's bond court and said seeing the man who is accused of assaulting their daughter was deeply troubling.

"It was very hard to see the man who's wronged my daughter, who's harmed her mentally, who sexually assaulted a 4-year-old and many other kids, the child's father said.

An affidavit also alleges Tompkins approached an 11-year-old girl Sunday who was sitting alone in a vehicle outside a North Main Street restaurant and offered her candy "with the intent for the victim to perform a sexual activity."

"This type of case is very disturbing and it serves as a reminder that we need to remain vigilant at all times," Sheriff Duane Lewis said. "If it were not for observant witnesses and citizens willing to step up and help detain the suspect, this person could still be on the loose."

According to an incident report from December 2015, Tompkins is accused of exposing his genitals to an 8-year-old at a Summerville thrift store before asking her if she wanted to lick them.

The Berkeley County Sheriff's Department said Tompkins was deemed incompetent to stand trial.

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