COLUMBIA — State police are not currently investigating allegations that a former South Carolina prosecutor abused several boys while he was their Boy Scout leader decades ago, a spokesman said Wednesday.
State Law Enforcement Division spokesman Thom Berry said Wednesday the agency is not currently probing the accusations against Jay Hodge.
South Carolina’s state police agency was asked to review the potential for criminal charges after a lawsuit was filed against Hodge several weeks ago. In the civil complaint, two brothers accused the former prosecutor, now 63, of sexually abusing them when he was their Scoutmaster in the 1970s and 1980s.
The brothers claim that the memories were repressed until recently, according to their lawsuit. A third plaintiff joined the lawsuit last week. The lawsuit does not identify the men, who are now in their 30s and 40s. The Associated Press typically doesn’t identify alleged victims of sexual assault.
Hodge was the chief prosecutor in four counties – Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon and Marlboro – and now runs a private law practice in Cheraw, about 90 miles northeast of Columbia. He has vehemently denied the allegations, which he said represented a vendetta by the now-adult men because of previous embezzlement allegations concerning Mercy Ministries, a nonprofit shelter for battered women that Hodge led.
Hodge has never faced criminal charges in relation to the accusations, but South Carolina has no statute of limitations on criminal offenses.
Will Rogers, who took over as solicitor after Hodge’s retirement, has said that, since he and Hodge had worked together, he opted to ask state prosecutors to handle any future case involving his predecessor. Attorney General Alan Wilson turned that case over to SLED, which at this point is not bringing any charges.
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