An 18-year-old man now faces 16 charges of molesting boys in Sumter and Clarendon counties after 11 new counts were filed Tuesday.
Arthur Gregg Richardson, of 2125 Cory Drive in Dalzell, had been charged earlier this month with fondling four boys and exposing himself to one of those boys between December and February and had been placed on house arrest.
Thomas Sumter Academy, where he is a senior, also banned him from the school based on those accusations, said Lt. David Florence of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.
Of the charges Richardson faces, four of them are in connection with alleged incidents at the school, and another reportedly happened outside a TSA girls basketball playoff game at the Sumter County Exhibition Center. The rest happened either in Richardson’s home or in the homes of the victims, Florence said.
The victims range in age from 3 to as old as 13.
The newest charges are two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, one count of indecent exposure and eight counts of committing lewd acts on minor children younger than 16. Richardson’s surety bond was raised from $25,000 to $35,000, and the terms of his house arrest were made stricter at a bond hearing held Tuesday morning at General Sessions Court in Kingstree.
The victim in both criminal sexual conduct cases, Florence said, was a 7-year-old. The first alleged incident took place at Richardson’s home in January and the other happened outside TSA in a vehicle while a basketball game was being played at the school, Florence said.
“The juveniles were engaged in sexual activity,” Florence said.
He did not say whether it was sexual intercourse, but he did say the activity was not violent.
The definition of criminal sexual conduct includes engaging in sexual battery with someone younger than 11.
Richardson also is accused of fondling that same boy twice at TSA in a classroom while Richardson was assisting an elementary grade teacher. He is also accused of exposing himself to the boy during the alleged criminal sexual conduct incident at his home.
He also fondled a 5-year-old boy in a TSA classroom, Florence said. One of the first charges filed against Richardson earlier this month alleges that he fondled a 9-year-old boy in a Thomas Sumter classroom. In all of those cases, Florence said, other children and the teacher were present, but Richardson was able to touch the victims through their clothing without being detected.
Authorities have said school officials approached law enforcement when they learned about the allegations against Richardson. Other victims began coming forward as the investigation continued. The Sumter and Clarendon county sheriffs’ offices and the Sumter Police Department began their probe in late February.
The youngest boy Richardson is accused of fondling is 3 years old. That alleged incident happened in December, after Christmas, at the toddler’s home while Richardson was babysitting him, Florence said.
The first alleged fondling case happened between June 14 and July 4 in Summerton. In that incident, which allegedly happened as much as six months before the other reports, Richardson fondled the boy through and underneath his clothing at the boy’s home, Florence said. He said Richardson fondled the same boy, whose age was only listed as younger than 14, again at the victim’s residence, between January and February.
One of the original charges filed against Richardson accused him of fondling a 9-year-old boy in a vehicle outside the exhibition center during a TSA girls basketball playoff game.
At the bond hearing Tuesday, Richardson was dressed in a red sweater, blue dress shirt and khaki pants.
Richardson’s father, Arthur Gregg Richardson Sr., agreed to several restrictions so that the younger Richardson could remain under house arrest rather than being incarcerated. Those restrictions included having the 18-year-old wear a real-time GPS device that will be monitored from Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center, having no access to computers and having no contact at all with anyone younger than 18, including his own relatives. The older Richardson even agreed to not bring his Blackberry into the home as a way to ensure that his son could not send text messages to children younger than 18.
“If any of these terms is violated, bond will be revoked,” 10th Circuit Court Judge Alexander S. Macauley said. “Are you willing to abide by that?”
“Yes,” Richardson’s father answered.