Dentist gets probation after pleading guilty to lewd act on a minor

SULLIVAN'S ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - A former Mt. Pleasant dentist has been sentenced to 10 years probation after pleading guilty to inappropriately touching an 8-year-old girl at his Sullivan's Island home.

John Cagle entered an Alford plea for a lewd act on a minor, according to Cagle's attorney Jack Sinclaire. The Alford plea is a guilty plea where the defendant does not admit the act, but acknowledges that there is sufficient evidence that could likely convince a jury to find him guilty.

Police reported that Cagle molested a child on New Year's Eve in 2010 at his home on Thompson Avenue.

"It was a dinner party, as far as I understand to ring in the New Year," said Sullivan's Island Police Chief Danny Howard in 2011. "The children were upstairs and the child came down and told her mother she'd been touched."

Police say Cagle punched his young accuser's mother in the face when she confronted him about the alleged assault. Authorities say investigators did a forensic interview at the Lowcountry Children's Center with the girl and that she was examined at MUSC.

Authorities say as a result of an interview at the Lowcountry Children's Center, investigators obtained warrants for Cagle's arrest.

Cagle then surrendered in January of 2011 and was charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor in the first degree, lewd act on a minor and assault and third degree battery for the alleged attack on the child's mother.

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