He tried to rape her at gunpoint until a cop walked in. Now he’ll spend years in jail

A Garden City man will spend 18 years in prison after he ordered a convenience store clerk to a back room where he had intended to rape her.

Scott Welch, 53, pleaded guilty to assault with intent to commit first-degree criminal sexual conduct and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, according to a news release from the 15th Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

Circuit Court Judge George M. McFaddin, Jr., sentenced Welch to serve 18 years for the attempted rape charge and five for the weapons charge, which will run concurrently.

The charges stem from February 2015, when Welch walked inside a convenience store in Surfside Beach and ordered the clerk to a back room at gunpoint, the release says.

He told her he was going to rape her, but an Horry County Police officer happened to walk in at the time.

“When the door chimed, Welch left the room and ran from the store,” the release states. “The officer chased after Welch and caught him.”

The store’s surveillance video showed Welch holding the woman at gunpoint and forcing her inside the back room.

“If the Horry County police officer had not happened into the store, this case could have been far worse,” said Mary-Ellen Walter, a senior assistant solicitor who prosecuted the case. “I appreciate the hard work of that officer and the Surfside Beach Police Department in helping to gain justice for the victim in this case.”

Michaela Broyles: 843-626-0281, @MichaelaBroyles