‘The kind of rape case we all dread’: Accused North Myrtle Beach suspect could be freed

A former North Myrtle Beach city employee accused of rape could soon be free on bond in a case described by a prosecutor as people’s worst fear.

“This is the kind of rape case that we all dread,” said Mary Ellen Walter, an Horry County assistant solicitor. “A stranger comes and grabs you off the street and drags you to the place you can’t get help.

“That is what this defendant has done.”

Jeremy Clark was in Horry County court on Tuesday for a bond hearing. North Myrtle Beach police arrested Clark in May and charged him with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

The victim — a 21-year-old woman from Florida — said she was walking on the sidewalk near the Wyndham hotel, 403 S. Ocean Blvd., around 10 p.m. A man pulled her into an alley and forced her to perform a sex act, a police report states. The victim said the suspect held a gun to her head.

Walter said the victim recognized someone she knew walking nearby and yelled for help. The friend broke up the assault, and the suspect fled the area.

Police used surveillance photographs to identify Clark, Walter said.

Clark was a city employee in the sewer department, though he had been sent home from work because of suspected drug use, Walter said.

Defense Attorney Ralph Wilson Sr. said he wasn’t looking to place blame, but said Clark used drugs and he has issues that he needs to address. Wilson asked the judge to set a reasonable bond.

Judge Benjamin Culbertson set Clark’s bond at $30,000. He will also be on home detention except for work, church or to meet with his lawyers.

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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.