Crime

‘I am innocent’: Harold Worley Jr. denies wrongdoing in sexual abuse case

Harold Worley Jr. takes witness stand in sex abuse case

An ex-North Myrtle Beach official took the witness stand on Wednesday in his sex abuse trial. Harold Worley Jr. denied sexually abusing children in Horry County. The trial is expected to wrap up on Thursday.
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An ex-North Myrtle Beach official took the witness stand on Wednesday in his sex abuse trial. Harold Worley Jr. denied sexually abusing children in Horry County. The trial is expected to wrap up on Thursday.

Every time lawyers asked Harold Worley Jr. if he sexually abused children, the former North Myrtle Beach official was adamant in his answer.

“Absolutely not,” Worley said. “I am innocent.”

Worley Jr. took the witness stand in his own defense on Wednesday. He is on trial on charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and unlawful conduct towards a child.

He faces up to life in prison if convicted.

Worley Jr., the son of Horry County Councilman Harold Worley, is accused of sexually abusing children. The defense maintains the charges stem from a messy divorce.

The defense started to present its case on Wednesday. The state called several witnesses, including the victims, on Tuesday.

Worley Jr. said he was playing a game with the children and there was no wrongdoing. He added knowing how the events unfolded, he regretted playing the game.

At the time of the incident, Worley Jr. described frequent fights with his ex-wife and marital troubles. At one point he said the accusations were “unconscionable” and pointed to his ex-wife in the gallery and said “she knows that.”

When North Myrtle Beach police arrested him, Worley Jr. said he couldn’t believe the charges.

“When I was arrested and I read that warrant, I was like ‘where did this come from?’” Worley Jr. said.

Several members of Worley’s family also testified Wednesday on the interactions with Worley Jr. and his ex-wife.

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Alex Lang is the True Crime reporter for The Sun News covering the legal system and how crime impacts local residents. He says letting residents know if they are safe is a vital role of a newspaper. Alex has covered crime in Detroit, Iowa, New York City, West Virginia and now Horry County.
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