West Columbia man working at a school accused of committing sex crime, sheriff says

A West Columbia man working at a Midlands middle school was accused of committing a sex crime on a student, according to the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department.

Juston Deon Smith, 21, was charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor, the sheriff’s department said Tuesday in a news release.

Smith, a contract temporary employee of a janitorial service provider, was accused of committing the sex crime in a bathroom at Pelion Middle School on Monday, according to the release.

Smith worked at the school for two days, Lexington 1 spokeswoman Mary Beth Hill said.

“A school employee found Smith and the student in a restroom,” Sheriff Jay Koon said in the release.

Based on the employee’s claims, the administrative staff notified law enforcement and filed an incident report with the sheriff’s department, according to Hill. Administrators also contacted Smith’s employer.

After interviewing Smith, the victim, and the witness, investigators arrested Smith at the school Monday and took him to the Lexington County Detention Center, the sheriff’s office said.

Smith remains behind bars after a Tuesday morning bond hearing, jail records show.

Information on the victim’s condition was not available.

“We take this very seriously,” Principal Kailanya Brailey said in a news release. “It is unacceptable for anyone to come into our school and hurt a child entrusted to our care. The fact that this is an ongoing police investigation limits what we can say about it at this time. However, I must say that our school has some of the best teachers and employees you will find anywhere. This individual is not one of our employees and does not represent who we are.”

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

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