Former teacher sent to prison for criminal solicitation of a minor

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) –  Aug. 26, 2020 – A former teacher pleaded guilty to Criminal Solicitation of a Minor and was sentenced to five years in prison on Monday, August 24th. Kenneth Howard McWilliams, represented by Leary McKenzie, pleaded guilty before the Honorable D. Craig Brown in Florence County.

Between the dates of April 7 and April 10, 2017, Kenneth McWilliams contacted a minor victim through Facebook Messenger. McWilliams engaged in numerous conversations with the victim that referenced meeting to engage in sexual activity. On April 11, the victim’s mother met with a deputy at the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, where she stated that she found inappropriate messages to her daughter from McWilliams, who was a middle school teacher. Lt. Darren Miles of the Marion County Sheriff’s Department conducted separate interviews with the victim and McWilliams. McWilliams admitted to engaging in sexual conversations and sending nude images to the minor. McWilliams was arrested on April 18, 2017. While out on bond, McWilliams traveled to the victim’s school. School administrators saw McWilliams arriving at and leaving the school. During an interview with Lt. Miles after this incident, McWilliams admitted that he had visited the victim at her school more than once, and he had been communicating with the victim with messages that were sexual in nature. McWilliams was re-arrested for this offense on September 7, 2018.

Judge Brown sentenced McWilliams to 10 years in prison, provided that after he serves five years the balance is suspended and he’ll be on probation for five years. The judge gave him credit for 717 days served, and McWilliams will be required to register as a sex offender. This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Quentin Gaddy.

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