Crime

Myrtle Beach man accused of sexually assaulting children receives $80K bond

Strickland granted bond on child sex abuse charges

Anthony L. Strickland was granted an $80,000 bond on the child sex abuse charges by Judge Larry Hyman in a Conway court today.
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Anthony L. Strickland was granted an $80,000 bond on the child sex abuse charges by Judge Larry Hyman in a Conway court today.

The former Myrtle Beach strip club manager who is accused of sexually assaulting two children must wear an ankle monitor while he awaits trial.

Anthony Strickland, the 45-year-old former manager of Chez Joey, received an $80,000 surety bond on Tuesday. Judge Larry Hyman stipulated that Strickland wear an ankle monitor following his release from jail.

Strickland is one of four Horry County suspects accused of sexually abusing and exploiting two 4-year-old victims.

Lindsay Honeycutt, Ambrose Heavener and Panteleimon N. Spirakis are also charged in the case.

Honeycutt and Heavener are charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, engaging a child for sexual performance and incest.

Spirakis and Strickland are charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and engaging a child for sexual performance.

Strickland was the first defendant to receive a bond hearing in circuit court because he was the first to hire an attorney, said Solicitor Jimmy Richardson. As the others retain counsel, the solicitor said, they will have their own hearings.

Richardson said his office did not make any specific requests related to Strickland’s bond.

“We just presented the facts,” he said.

A surety bond allows a defendant to post a percentage of the total amount. A bondsman is then responsible for the whole sum if the accused doesn’t show up for court.

In the coming weeks, Richardson said his office will review the case file and, assuming everything is in order, pursue indictments.

A charge of criminal sexual conduct with a minor carries a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

Police have said that on Jan. 25 officers were told of a sexual assault involving children that occurred in the county but was reported elsewhere.

An unnamed witness told police she had been counseling two 4-year-old victims — a male and female from Tabor City, N.C. — since May 1 after a North Carolina Department of Social Services investigation found the victims were being forced to have sex with their siblings and their parents, according to a police report. A forensic interview in North Carolina suggested the victims needed trauma focused therapy, the report said.

From May 1 to Jan. 10, 2016, the victims provided “very little information at a time during the therapy sessions” about the abuse, the report said. On Jan. 11, both victims said their parents “force them to have sex with their siblings and each other.”

The victims also said their parents would have sex with the victims and would make the female victim have sex with Spirakis, according to the report.

Some of the assaults possibly occurred at what the victims called “the dance club,” which was later identified as Chez Joey, a strip club located at 716 Seaboard St. in Myrtle Beach. Strickland once worked as a manager there, according to police records.

The victims said their mom, Lindsey Honeycutt, worked as a dancer at Chez Joey and would bring the victims with her until she finished working, police said. Ambrose Heavener is listed as the victim’s family member, according to arrest warrants. Spirakis and Strickland are accused of sexually abusing the victims as well, police said.

On Feb. 24, the victims told police there were multiple locations of the sexual assaults. The locations are: 407 Queens Rd. in Myrtle Beach; 808 48th Ave. N. in Myrtle Beach; and at Chez Joey in Myrtle Beach, according to arrest warrants.

The Queens Road residence is registered to a Peter Spirakis, who is related to Panteleimon Spirakis, according to property records. The 48th Avenue North address is registered to Strickland, according to records.

Authorities arrested the four suspects on March 3. The other three are being held at J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

Strickland has a prior criminal history. He has been arrested for criminal domestic violence in October 2007; trafficking marijuana in June 2010; manufacturing and possession of a Schedule I, II or III substance with intent to distribute in February 2012; possession of marijuana in February 2015; and first-degree criminal sexual conduct in August 2015. However, the sexual assault charge was disposed in October 2015, and he was not indicted, according to records on the Horry County Public Index.

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