South Carolina

Should repeat SC child molester be freed? Jury makes the call

A twice-convicted child sex offender will not be released from prison after a York County jury took less than half an hour to rule that he is a sexually violent predator and a threat to society.

Franklin Mosier, 35, had finished a 10-year prison sentence for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature against a 10-year-old child victim, after a 2011 guilty plea.

But he will instead be committed to the S.C. Department of Mental Health, according to court records and testimony from a trial this week in York. Mosier also has a conviction of sexually assaulting a a different 10-year-old child in 1998, court records and testimony show.

State prosecutors from the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, using a law known as South Carolina’s sexually violent predator act, filed a lawsuit against Mosier before he got out of prison, saying he is a threat to re-offend if he is released.

James Bogle, the attorney general prosecutor who specializes in the cases, told the jury in a civil trial this week that Mosier was a “triple whammy.” Bogle argued that Mosier had a history of molesting children and that he has both a mental abnormality and disorder that makes him likely to re-offend.

A psychologist testified for prosecutors that she had diagnosed Mosier with pedophilia, testimony showed.

Anna Browder, Mosier’s court-appointed lawyer, argued that Mosier “had done his time” and that prosecutors were asking jurors to “predict the future” about Mosier after he had served his sentence.

Jurors ruled Tuesday after a two-day trial.

Mosier will be treated at a state institution. There is no timetable on when he could be released. Mosier will be re-examined by health care providers at least yearly, and can seek release after treatment.