Kershaw County deputies arrested a man Friday after they say he sexually assaulted three young children.
James Wesley McDaniel, 50, is charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 11 and third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor under 16.
The incidents involved a 4-year-old girl, a 5-year-old girl and an 8-year-old boy, according to the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office.
“The details of this case are too graphic to share with the public,” Sheriff Jim Matthews said. “McDaniel indicated that he would have gone farther with his activities if he had not been caught, so his arrest certainly spared these children from additional and more serious sexual assaults.”
The situation came to investigators’ attention when a relative of the children contacted the sheriff’s office. The S.C. Department of Social Services came in to investigate, and placed the children in the care of the relative.
McDaniel, along with the children’s mother, fled to North Carolina, the sheriff said.
An investigator tracked the mother down in Hendersonville, N.C. the week of Sept. 12, the sheriff said – and she told law enforcement that McDaniel had since traveled to Lugoff.
The investigating deputy located McDaniel on Friday. He was homeless, living behind some businesses in Lugoff off U.S. 1, officials said. McDaniel accompanied the deputy to the sheriff’s office.
Eventually, McDaniel admitted to activities with the children, Matthews said. He was arrested and taken to the Kershaw County Detention Center.