A Kershaw County man was charged Tuesday with molesting a 9-year-old girl, and officials say more charges are likely.
Joseph Elliot Garcia, 44, was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, according to a release from the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office.
Detectives last month received a report from the girl’s mother that the girl had been sexually assaulted, according to officials. Physical and forensic exams revealed the girl had been assaulted.
Garcia, who worked at a motel in Lancaster County, was arrested by Lancaster County deputies and turned over to Kershaw County authorities, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
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Officials say additional charges with other victims are likely in other jurisdictions in South Carolina and North Carolina. Garcia has prior arrests for property damage, aggravated assault, criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature and burglary, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
“What can one say about a situation like this other than that this is disgusting, revolting and will in all likelihood happen again if this pedophile is released from custody,” Sheriff Jim Matthews said. “Parents of young children really need to scrutinize male friends that they allow to be with their children.”
Garcia remained in the Kershaw County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.