October 15, 2015; Laurens, S.C. – Eighth Circuit Solicitor David Stumbo announced Thursday that a Laurens County man is facing up to 35 years in prison after a jury returned guilty verdicts late Wednesday on charges of second degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and committing a lewd act on a minor.
A Laurens County jury deliberated for about three hours Wednesday night before returning the guilty verdicts on 45-year-old Brad Bernard Dawkins of Laurens.
Circuit Judge Eugene C. Griffith held sentencing in abeyance until Friday morning. Dawkins is facing up to 20 years in prison on the charge of second degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and 15 years in prison on the charge of committing a lewd act on a minor.
The victim, just 13 at the time of the incident, came forward about the assault in December 2009, the day after Dawkins attempted to rape her in his car while parked on a desolate dirt road.
During her forensic interview, the victim disclosed a pattern of abuse from Dawkins over a period of multiple years.
Solicitor Stumbo praised the work of prosecutors and investigators, particularly Senior Assistant Solicitor Lance Sheek and Investigator Windy Chappell, in securing the conviction and said his office will continue to fight for the defenseless victims of sexual predators.
“This brave young lady has finally been able to get some measure of justice and closure thanks to our prosecution team and law enforcement investigators who worked this case,” Stumbo said following the verdict. “Prosecuting violent sexual predators will continue to be one of the top priorities of my office, and we are glad to announce that another predator has been removed from our community in Laurens County.”