Horrific Abuse Case Comes to Close Despite DSS Neglect


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North of Charleston, a DSS neglect case is making national headlines. Although the state agency was aware that a young girl was being sexually assaulted in her home, in a sad chain of events, she was left to fend for herself. Shockingly, the child's legal guardians, as well as the Department of Social Services, made no attempt to protect her, and repeatedly left her in the care if her abuser. Department of Social Services Was Informed of Abuse in 2011 A paper trail of the girl's abuse stretches back as far as 2011, when she spoke with a school guidance counselor. According to reports, she told the counselor that she had been sexually abused by a man who shared a home with her and the guardians who were legally appointed to look after her. The Department of Social Services looked into the case at the time, and the man admitted to having sexual contact with the girl. However, they failed to report the incident to local authorities, and no follow-up ever occurred. The man was simply told he could no longer have contact with the girl, and he moved out of the home. The Girl was Left if the Care of Her Abuser With the Department of Social Services and law enforcement seemingly forgetting about the girl, her guardians permitted her abuser to move back into the home. Outrageously, her guardians also left her alone with her abuser repeatedly while they were away. In one incident, the girl ran to a neighbor's home in tears, afraid the man would hurt her. Again, DSS neglected to act. Woefully, she was left to protect herself. Instead of continuing to be a victim, she collected fluid samples after she was assaulted and delivered them to her school principal the next day. Bittersweet Justice Has Been Served Just last week, the trials concluded. The evidence that the victim collected was used to convict three people, two of whom once swore to protect her. The girl's guardians received five years each. The woman who, for all intents and purposes was supposed to be acting as her mother, is serving under house arrest. The man who should have been fatherly, sits in a cell, after jailhouse recordings captured him referring to the girl as a "lying snitch," among other things. Her abuser pled guilty to criminal sexual conduct with a minor, and will spend 19 years behind bars. Department of Social Services isn't Speaking You may have noticed that the state agency responsible for protecting the girl has not publicly faced any consequences. So far, a simple, "No comment," has been the only thing heard from them. Regrettably, this is not the first time they have dropped the ball, and it likely won't be the last. Vulnerable children are often left in unsafe homes, and children in safe, healthy homes, are routinely ripped away from their families.

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