A former Conway attorney apologized in court Thursday after entering his plea on two indecent exposure charges that came as part of a plea arrangement in which four other counts were dismissed.
Jefferson Marion "Buddy" Long, 50, of Myrtle Beach, entered an Alford plea to two counts of exposure of private parts in a lewd manner before Circuit Court Judge Benjamin H. Culbertson. In an Alford plea, the defendant does not admit guilt, but acknowledges a jury would likely convict based on the evidence.
Culbertson ordered Long to pay a $300 fine or spend 30 days in jail for each charge, and the sentences will run concurrently. He had faced up to six months in jail or a $500 fine on each count.
"I wish it would've never happened and we would have never gone through this," Long said during the hearing.
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Long, who had been an attorney in Horry County for 25 years, was charged with exposing himself on Jan. 1, 2006, at his Myrtle Beach home and on Nov. 19, 2009, at his law firm on Beaty Street in Conway, said Nancy Livesay, assistant solicitor.
Sabrina Beale, who was 18 at the time, reported Long exposing himself in 2006 at his home to her and her sister, who was 12, she said. She came forward because she did not want any other women to witness such incidents, she said.
"It feels like a slap on the wrist," Beale said after the hearing. "But at least he was pleading guilty to it."
Buddy Long had no prior criminal record, said his brother, Russell Long, who represented him at the hearing.
"There are no allegations of any touching ... other than some individuals saying they saw him naked inside his home and they saw him naked inside his law firm," Russell Long said. "He knows this is the best resolution of the case."
In March, the S.C. Bar Association placed Buddy Long on interim suspension pending the outcome of the criminal charges against him. Thursday's plea means he is now barred from practicing law.
Russell Long said the financial strain has taken its toll on his brother's family.
"This is my 19th year, and this is the hardest day I've had," Russell Long said. "This is a very difficult day, but it is a day we needed to have happen."
Long was arrested on Jan. 27, 2009, and Nov. 24, 2009, after two women reported on separate occasions that a man had exposed himself while standing in front of the clear glass storm door at Long's law office in Conway.
According to an Horry County police report about the 2006 incidents, Beale and her sister said Long exposed himself by standing naked behind the glass storm door to his house on Six Lakes Road. They told police it happened between 20 and 30 times while they were in their front yard and that Long would stand at the door facing the street where traffic and passers-by could see him.