Summerville man given eight-month prison sentence in Myrtle Beach assault

troot@thesunnews.comNovember 26, 2012 

A Summerville man was ordered to serve eight months in prison and three years on probation after he pleaded guilty to an assault charge in the sexual assault of a woman a year ago in Myrtle Beach, according to records.

Brandon Gregory Southerland, 29, of Summerville, pleaded guilty to first-degree assault and battery and Circuit Court Judge Edward B. Cottingham sentenced him to 10 years in prison, but suspended that sentence to eight months in prison and three years probation, according to court records.

Cottingham also ordered Southerland to not have any contact with the victim, and found that it was a sexually violent offense under the Sexual Violent Predator Act, according to court records. Southerland also must pay court costs and was given credit for the time he has served since being arrested on March 27.

In July, an Horry County grand jury indicted Southerland on a charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, according to indictments released Aug. 1.

The indictment showed that on Sept. 24, 2011, a woman reported she was raped in Myrtle Beach.

In a police report, the victim told Myrtle Beach police officers she and Southerland had fallen asleep on the beach and they woke up about 2 a.m. that day. The woman said they went back to an apartment and when she tried to leave Southerland forced himself on her.

The woman was able to escape and went to the police department for help.

Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723.

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