Bamberg County Councilman Kerry Trent Kinard is accused of sex crimes involving minors.
The S.C. Law Enforcement Division took the 49-year-old Bamberg resident into custody on Friday night on charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, attempted criminal sexual conduct with a minor, first-degree assault and battery, and two counts each of both criminal solicitation of a minor and dissemination of obscene material.
Officers booked Kinard into the Bamberg County Detention Center.
“Pray for Bamberg County,” Bamberg County Council Chairwoman Sharon Hammond said after hearing the news Saturday.
SLED affidavits allege the most recent incidents took place on Sept. 17.
Affidavits accuse Kinard of touching the private parts of a juvenile female through her clothing without her consent, attempting to engage in sexual activity with a juvenile female and showing a juvenile female pornographic material.
In the second charge of dissemination of obscene material, affidavits accuse Kinard of displaying and presenting pornographic material to a juvenile male “multiple times a year” between 2008 and 2019.
And in his second charge of criminal solicitation of a minor, affidavits accuse him of communicating with a juvenile male for the purpose of persuading him to engage in sexual activity between 2017 and 2019.
Affidavits accuse Kinard of attempting to engage in sexual battery with a female between the ages of 14 and 16 between 2016 and 2017.
The affidavits also allege Kinard engaged in sexual battery with a male between the ages of 6 and 8 between 2008 and 2010. Affidavits accuse him of placing his hand in the juvenile’s pants and grabbing the juvenile’s private parts.
SLED investigated the case at the request of the Bamberg Police Department. The Second Circuit Solicitor’s Office will prosecute the cases.
If convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct of a minor, Kinard faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
It’s not known if Kinard has an attorney. Multiple attempts to reach Kinard for comment were unsuccessful.
The Air Force veteran was first elected to Bamberg County Council in June 2012. He served as chairman from Jan. 1, 2019 until Dec. 31, 2019.
This past June, he lost his re-election bid in the Democratic primary.
His previous political experience includes a 2002 appointment as a Jasper County magistrate by then-Gov. Mark Sanford.
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