Charleston County jury convicts man on rape charge

Charleston County jury convicts man on rape charge

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Prosecutors say a man has been found guilty of raping a woman.

Solicitor Scarlett Wilson announced that a Charleston County jury found Andrew Allston Kirkland guilty of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

According to prosecutors, the jury handed down its verdict Wednesday evening after a three-day trial.

"Upon conviction, Mr. Kirkland faced a sentencing range of up to ten years in prison," said officials with the Ninth Solicitor's Office."Judge Kristi Harrington sentenced Mr. Kirkland to five years of incarceration suspended upon one year of incarceration followed by four years of probation."

Kirkland will also be required to register as a sex offender.

Authorities say the incident happened in December of 2014 when the victim and a friend came to Charleston from Beaufort to spend time with Kirkland and his brother for the friend's birthday.

"After the group returned to the Defendant's residence from visiting a local bar and went to bed for the night, the Victim was awoken early in the morning to the Defendant sexually assaulting her," prosecutors said.

"We were very pleased with the jury's decision and glad that the Victim can begin her full recovery from the incident in earnest," said Assistant Solicitor Drew Evans."We are also very grateful for the cooperation of a key outcry witness, without whom a conviction would have been unlikely."

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