SC governor suspends councilman facing child sex crimes

State News

FILE (AP Photo/Sean Rayford, File)

BAMBERG, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has suspended a Bamberg County councilman after indictments were announced against him for six child sex charges.

A Bamberg County grand jury indicted Councilman Kerry Trent Kinard on Thursday. Along with the child sex crimes, the grand jury indicted Kinard on a first-degree assault charge. McMaster suspended him on Friday, The State reported.

South Carolina law allows McMaster to suspend public officials after grand jury indictments for “a crime involving moral turpitude.”

Kinard was first elected to Bamberg County Council in 2012. His attorney refused comment when reached by The State.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division arrested Kinard, 49, in September and charged him with first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, attempted criminal sexual contact with a minor, two counts of criminal solicitation of a minor, first-degree assault and battery and two counts of dissemination of obscene material,

The charges stem from incidents between 2008 and September 2020, the SLED said.

According to state police affidavits, Kinard showed pornography to male and female children, asked them to have sex, touched them sexually and tried to have intercourse with a teenage girl. Between 2008 and 2010, Kinard also touched a male juvenile, which warranted the first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge, a police affidavit said.

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