A South Carolina man admitted Monday that he molested a young girl over three years, according to prosecutors.
Arsenio L. Byars, 26, formerly of Cherokee County, pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct, according to a release from the Seventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Circuit Court Judge Alex Kinlaw sentenced Byars to 20 years in prison, of which Byars must serve at least 85 percent before he is eligible for release.
Cherokee County online court records show Byars was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, which carries a minimum 25-year prison sentence and a maximum sentence of life in prison. He pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct, which carries a maximum of 30 years, under South Carolina law.
The investigation began when an 8-year-old girl told staff at a Greenville County elementary school in October 2015 that she was the victim of a sex assault, the release states. Greenville County sheriff’s investigators determined the sex abuse happened at multiple locations in Cherokee County and forwarded the case to the State Law Enforcement Division.
During an interview with the counselor, the victim described multiple sex acts that occurred over the course of three years, prosecutors said. She also was able to describe the locations at which the abuse occurred.
Deputy Solicitor Kim Leskanic prosecuted the case.