A former Beaufort County teacher who molested nine young boys has been released from jail after he was ruled ineligible for the state's sexually violent predator program.
Philip Underwood-Sheppard, 57, has moved to Brevard, N.C., following his release Sept. 17 from the Beaufort County Detention Center, according to his entry in the S.C. Sex Offender Registry.
He was released from prison Aug. 28 after serving 13 years of a 25-year sentence and taken to the county jail to await a decision on whether he would be committed to the predator program.
Two mental evaluations determined he did not qualify for the program, according to the S.C. Attorney General's Office.
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Underwood-Sheppard was arrested in 2002 after a worker at the Boys & Girls Club after-school program became suspicious and peeked in the music teacher's room at Coosa Elementary School on Lady's Island and saw him naked from the waist down. Two boys, ages 7 and 8, were in the room with him and there had been inappropriate physical contact.
Seven other boys between the ages of 6 and 13 later came forward to report similar crimes to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.
Underwood-Sheppard had been a teacher in the school district for 17 years, also having worked at Davis and Broad River elementary schools and Robert Smalls Middle School.
He was sentenced to 25 years on April 24, 2003, after pleading guilty to nine counts of indecent exposure, seven counts of performing a lewd act on a child and one count of assault and battery high and aggravated. Due to earning credit for good behavior and working jobs in prison, he became eligible for early release after serving 13 years.
Lawsuits against the Beaufort County School District and the Boys & Girls Clubs followed his guilty plea. The clubs paid out $2.4 million. The district paid about $5.2 million, with its liability insurance paying about half of that amount.
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