He sexually assaulted a 9-year-old at a Myrtle Beach motel, report says

Fresno Bee Staff Photo

A 57-year-old faces life behind bars for sexually assaulting a 9-year-old, police say.

Myrtle Beach police charged Jeffrey Darrin Ward with first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. If convicted, he faces 25 years to life in prison.

The police investigation into the incident began in October and officers arrested Ward this week.

A 10-year-old girl, now in foster care, told authorities she was assaulted in May while living at the Oasis Motel on York Street, according to a police report. The victim said the incident happened when she was 9 years old and Ward assaulted her in a motel room.

The police report does not specify the relationship between Ward and the victim.

Ward told the victim that if she told anyone he would go to jail for the rest of his life, the report states.