Cops: Violent Sexual Predator Strikes Again, Linked to Cold Case - WSPA.com

Cops: Violent Sexual Predator Strikes Again

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ANDERSON COUNTY, S.C. -

A man deemed as a sexually violent predator who was arrested earlier this week has been connected to an unsolved indecent exposure case, the authorities said Friday.

Kenneth LeAllen Wright, 48, of Anderson, faces a new count of indecent exposure related to a January case where deputies say he exposed himself to children at an Anderson County Walmart.

Earlier this week, deputies arrested Wright after they say he exposed himself to children this at a K-Mart on Clemson Boulevard a few days ago. He also was charged in connection to not registering his vehicle with the sheriff's office, something sex offenders must do.

Deputies on Friday said victims from the January case recognized Wright after he was arrested for this week's indecent exposure.

According to investigators, Wright's criminal history began with a 1991 indecent exposure conviction in Pennsylvania. Then in 1997, a jury in South Carolina convicted him of the same crime again. In 2003, Wright was charged and convicted of committing a lewd act. In 2005, Anderson County Solicitor Chrissy Adams said a jury convicted Wright for a third time of indecent exposure.

Wright was sentenced to three years in prison, but that conviction was suspended to two years behind bars with probation to follow.

While Wright was incarcerated he was evaluated by a mental health expert who, along with a court, deemed Wright to be a sexually violent predator. Such evaluations and determinations are required of anyone incarcerated for sex crimes under the S.C. Sexually Violent Predator Act.

Because he was deemed to be a predator, Wright was committed to the S.C. Department of Mental Health's Sexually Violent Predator Program on December 6, 2007, according to the S.C. Attorney General's spokesman.

A couple of years later, Wright petitioned to be re-evaluated, and this time the S.C. Department of Mental Health determined Wright to be safe and felt he would not re-offend. The attorney general's office said it did not oppose Wright's release, and so Wright left mental health on Sept. 10, 2010.

According to the Anderson County Sheriff's Office, Wright then moved to Charleston where he registered as a sex offender until September 2012 when he moved back to Anderson County.

"Well obviously he has not been cured of his sexual deviancy," said Anderson County Solicitor Chrissy Adams who thinks the justice system failed in this instance. "Of course he should've still been in prison."

Adams said her office did what it could by getting a conviction in 2005 and having Wright sentenced to prison. What happened after that was left up to the state's mental health department and the attorney general's office.

"According to the laws as they are written right now, and the testimony that was taken at the time [2007], they [the court and attorney general's office] felt that he had been cured," she said, "but obviously that's not the case."

An Anderson County Sheriff's Office spokesman, Chad McBride, said Thursday afternoon that investigators are looking into the possibility that Wright could be responsible for additional unsolved cases, including an indecent exposure that happened in January at a local Walmart.

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