Manning man charged with molesting child

bbaker@theitem.comJuly 19, 2013 

A 35-year-old Manning man was denied bond Friday at the Clarendon County Detention Center on a charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor younger than 11.

Jimmy Weeks Jr. was arrested Thursday, according to the Clarendon County Public Index, three days after the girl's mother says she notified the Clarendon County Sheriff's Office that Weeks allegedly touched the girl's private parts. The mother told The Item on Friday night that Weeks is a close family friend of the girl's father, and that the girl thinks of him as an uncle.

"(My daughter) told her aunt that (the suspect) touched her in her private place," the woman said Friday night. "They called me and I called police."

The woman, who lives in Sumter with her daughter, had let the girl go to Silver for an extended visit. The Item does not identify the alleged victims of sexual assaults or close family members.

"She was just visiting because school is out," the mother said. "She'll go there for a week and come back and go for another week. Her aunt asked for her to come. She's a bright 5-year-old, and she likes to help out."

The mom said her daughter wasn't as excited about the trip as usual, "but I just assumed it was because she maybe wanted to stay here and play with all the kids (around)."

"It wasn't until after the confrontation that she told me it happened before and he told her not to tell," the woman said. "She couldn't tell me the date. She's only 5 and doesn't really understand (time). So she told me (what she was wearing) and how she looked, cuz that's how she thinks of time."

Clarendon County Sheriff Randy Garrett Jr. did not respond to phone calls on Friday night. The girl's mother said, however, that she is in touch with a victim's advocate from the sheriff's department.

"My daughter's glued to my hip (now) 24-7; she won't move, can't sleep," she said. "It's just hard for us to trust anybody around any of our kids when someone so close to her could do something like that to her. (Her father) is angry. This was his family. He's crushed by it."

"I never would have expected anything like this," the woman said. "You read about it, you hear about it. But you never expect it to happen so close to home, and not from someone she calls her uncle, someone she loves and now asks me how she's not supposed to hate them."

Clarendon County Detention Center Director Shelton Hughes was contacted Friday night for a photograph of Weeks, but could not be reached.

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