Solicitor: Man sentenced to life for sexually abusing two boys - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Solicitor: Man sentenced to life for sexually abusing two boys

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BEAUFORT, S.C. (WCIV) -- A 37-year-old St. Helena Island man will spend the rest of his life in prison after being convicted for sexually abusing two boys over a two-year period, according to the solicitor.

Fourteenth Judicial Circuit Solicitor Duffy Stone said the jury deliberated for almost six hours before convicting James Simmons, Jr. of two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

Stone said the abuse was ongoing from 2009 to 2010 at a home on Seaside Road when the boys were seven to nine-years-old.

The victims reported the abuse to family members in 2011, Stone said in a press release and  Simmons was arrested and charged in 2012.

"One of our jobs as prosecutors is to protect the most vulnerable in our society," said assistant solicitor Mary Jordan Lempesis. "I am proud of the children in this case for having the courage to tell their story and to prevent this dangerous man from hurting anyone else. The jury carefully deliberated the facts of this case and delivered a verdict that ensured these children's bravery would be rewarded with justice."

Stone said based on the charges, Simmons faced a minimum of 25 years in prison, but at the end of the three-day trial, the judge handed down the maximum sentence, life in prison.

Stone said Simmons had prior convictions for criminal domestic violence and malicious injury to personal property.


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