Sheriff: Children sexual assault investigation revealed assault was ‘worse’ than originally believed

Sheriff: Children sexual assault investigation revealed assault was ‘worse’ than originally believed
Source: Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Authorities say charges against a man accused of sexually assaulting children at a home have been upgraded after an investigation revealed that the assault was worse than originally believed.

Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell announced that 37-year-old William Harmon Williams of Salley in Aiken County now faces two charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor under 11.

“The initial charges were bad enough but the ongoing investigation revealed the assault was worse than originally believed,” Ravenell said. “So the charges have been upgraded to reflect that.”

Williams was originally charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, a lesser charge that involving groping.

“We have since discovered there was a more serious type of assault involved in this case,” Ravenell said. “This is one of those cases that make you angry since children rely on adults for safety. In this case with this trusted individual, they couldn’t.”

Accordin to a report, a parent in the home was informed of the sexual contact when she confronted a child after observing what she believed to be unusual behavior on the part of the children.

The sheriff’s office said Williams was no stranger to the family or children and had been staying with the family for a few weeks prior to the incidents.

“When confronted by investigators, Williams admitted to having assaulted the victims, according to the warrants,” OCSO officials said."Williams faces a mandatory minimum 25 years and up to life in prison on each count, if convicted of the upgraded charges."

Investigators say Williams’ two original charges will be rescinded.

“The original bond of $50,000 set on August 6 has also been rescinded and now is denied,” OCSO officials said."Williams will have to apply for any bond consideration in front of a circuit court judge at a later date."

Copyright 2019 WCSC. All rights reserved.