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Sexual battery charges against an Aiken County man have been upgraded, according to Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell.

“The initial charges were bad enough but the ongoing investigation revealed the assault was worse than originally believed,” Ravenell said. “So the charges have been upgraded to reflect that.”

William Harmon Williams, 37, is now charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor under 11.

The Salley man was charged earlier this month with two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, a lesser charge that involved alleged groping.

“We have since discovered there was a more serious type of assault involved in this case,” Ravenell said. “This is one of those cases that make you angry since children rely on adults for safety. In this case with this trusted individual, they couldn’t.”

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The two original charges now will be rescinded.

The original bond of $50,000 set on Aug. 6 has also been rescinded and now is denied.

Williams will have to apply for any bond consideration in front of a circuit court judge at a later date.

Orangeburg County Sheriff’s investigators were notified of possible sexual misconduct activity on Aug. 1 when two Orangeburg County children were reportedly assaulted.

A parent in the home was informed of the alleged sexual contact when she confronted a child after observing what she believed to be unusual behavior on the part of the children.

When confronted by investigators, Williams allegedly admitted to having assaulted the victims, according to the warrants.

Williams faces a mandatory minimum 25 years and up to life in prison on each count if convicted of the upgraded charges.

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