SC councilman’s child sex crime charges dropped. He gets house arrest for assault, battery

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Just days before he was set to go on trial for a slew of child sex charges, a former Bamberg County Councilman pleaded guilty to just one count of assault and battery in the first degree, according to his attorney.

Kerry Trent Kinard faced a potential lengthy jail sentence for over a dozen charges including first and second degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor under 11 years of age.

Instead, Kinard pleaded guilty in a Greenville County courtroom Wednesday and Circuit Judge Perry H. Gravely sentenced him to 42 months of house arrest to be followed by 18 months of probation.

The Thirteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office, which prosecutes cases in Greenville County, declined to comment.

The case was prosecuted in Greenville after the Second Circuit Solicitor’s Office, which covers Bamberg County, had a conflict of interest, according to Kinard’s attorney, Bakari Sellers.

The former chairman of the Bamberg County Council, Kinard faced a series of criminal charges including a federal gun charge. In October 2021, Kinard was sentenced to federal prison for lying on an application to purchase a gun while out on bond and subject to a restraining order for seven felony charges, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of South Carolina. He was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.

Kinard’s other charges included alleged attempted criminal solicitation of a minor, assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct and dissemination of obscene material.

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