A Walterboro man with an extensive criminal history in another state has been sent to prison for the sexual assault of a girl who lived near him.
William Morgan Jr., 57, of Franklin Street pleaded guilty Monday to first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and dissemination of obscene materials to a person under 18. The charges stem from incidents that were first reported in September 2020 and started in 2019, when the victim was 12.
Morgan, who was scheduled to go to trial later in the day, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Morgan was sentenced to 25 years for the criminal sexual conduct charge and 10 years for disseminating obscene materials. The sentences are to be served concurrently.
“Justice was served today,” said Julie Kate Keeney of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, who prosecuted the case. “Mr. Morgan is going back to where he belongs, and a young girl has been spared from having to testify against the man who preyed upon her.”
The girl’s older sister contacted law enforcement after she caught her sister running from the side of Morgan’s house. When officers with the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office interviewed Morgan, he denied any wrongdoing, but his cellphone and the girl’s cellphone told a different story. Investigators examined the phones and found that the defendant had sent video messages of his genitals to the girl’s phone. During a subsequent forensic interview, the girl disclosed the sexual abuse occurred behind Morgan’s house.
Morgan was convicted in 1991 in New York for several rape and sexual abuse charges and sentenced to nine to 18 years in prison. In 2012, he was sentenced to 18 months to three years in New York for first-degree criminal contempt, sexual abuse of a person less than 14 years old, and injury to a child younger than 17. He also was convicted in 2012 for failure to register as a sex offender.
Circuit Court Judge Carmen T. Mullen handed down the sentence.
Keeney is a member of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Special Victims Unit, which prosecutes sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse and other crimes against vulnerable people.
If you, or someone you know, has been sexually assaulted, help is available. To learn more about available services within the Colleton, Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton and Allendale counties, visit scolicitor14.org/victim-services-center/#sexualassault or ask to speak with a sexual assault nurse examiner by calling (843) 790-6220.