UNION COUNTY — A Whitmire man will spend the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of sexually molesting a seven-year-old child.
In a statement released Friday morning the Union County Sheriff’s Office announced that Cleveland Edward Young, 52, had been sentenced to life in prison.
Young was arrested in March 2015 and charged by the Sheriff’s Office with criminal sexual conduct with a minor first degree.
The warrant for Young’s arrest stated that the crime involved a seven-year-old girl and took place between Jan. 1, 2014 and Jan. 28, 2015.
The incident report filed in Young’s case stated that the incident was originally reported to the Union Public Safety Department on Jan. 28, 2015. In the course of investigating the allegation, investigators with the Public Safety Department discovered that the incident took place outside their jurisdiction. They then turned the case over to the sheriff’s office which took over the investigation.
Young, who was 51 at the time and residing at 196 Alexander Road, Whitmire, was taken into custody on March 10, 2015 and transported to the Union County Jail where he remained until his trial this week.
The announcement released by the Sheriff’s Office states that Young was tried during this week’s term of General Sessions Court which took place in the Main Courtroom of the Union County Courthouse. Young’s trial was held before the Honorable R. Knox McMahan and the case was prosecuted by Assistant Solicitor John Anthony. The trial lasted three days and the jury returned a guilty verdict late Wednesday evening.
On Thursday, McMahan sentenced Young to two consecutive life sentences without possibility of parole.
The Sixteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office also released a statement about Young’s case, stating he was convicted of first degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and third degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. The press release states that Young was convicted in 1987 or three counts of first degree burglary, which it describes as a most serious offense uder South Carolina law. Young received a 36-year sentence on the burglary charges and was released from prison in 2007. It further states that as both criminal sexual conduct charges with a minor are also considered most serious offenses, Young received the two life sentences without chance of parole under South Carolina’s two strikes law.
In the press release, Anthony noted that the victim’s family had been devastated upon learning of the abuse sustained by the victim and in dealing with the victim’s trauma-related behavior.
“Judge McMahan’s sentence insures that Mr. Young will spend the rest of his life where he won’t be able to hurt a child again,” Anthony said.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or firstname.lastname@example.org.