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Lugoff man arrested for sexually assaulting teenage relative

Posted: November 5, 2013 5:22 p.m.
Updated: November 6, 2013 5:00 a.m.
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Edward Conant

Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) deputies arrested a Lugoff man Friday on allegations he sexually assaulted a 15-year-old female relative.

The KCSO identified the arrested man in a press release as Edward Walter Conant, 41, of Cricket Hill Road, Lugoff. Deputies charged him with second degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor victim under 16.

According to Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews, an investigator received a call from a Columbia physician on Oct. 16 stating they had treated a 15-year-old girl who disclosed that a family member -- identified as Conant -- had forcibly sexually assaulted her at a Kershaw County home. The victim provided investigators with a statement detailing the assaults, which allegedly occurred on the weekend of Sept. 21. The investigator arranged for a forensic interview of the girl by a trained forensic examiner, the results of which confirmed the girl’s story.

The investigator obtained an arrest warrant for Conant who was already out on bond for narcotics violations in Kershaw County. An alert deputy who knew about the warrants arrested Conant at the Kershaw County Courthouse. Deputies then transported Conant to the Kershaw County Detention Center where, as of Monday afternoon, he was still being held on a $60,000 surety bond.

KCSO investigators also executed a search warrant at Conant’s home. They found remnants of a methamphetamine manufacturing operation, but not a sufficient quantity of the drug to warrant additional charges.

However, they did find and seize a “large quantity” of pornographic materials focused on underage girls.

According to the KCSO, Conant has previous arrests for numerous narcotics violations and, at the time of his arrest, was out on bond for manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of meth and simple possession of marijuana.

A May 15 story in the C-I, based on a KCSO press release, detailed Conant’s arrest earlier that week along with a 24-year-old man after KCSO narcotics agents discovered a fully-assembled meth lab in an outbuilding on Cricket Hill Road. The KCSO said at the time that it had spent about a week looking into the possibility that Conant and the other man were making meth at the residence. After staking out the property, KCSO narcotics agents approached and encountered Conant and the other subject who had been assembling the lab.

Agents discovered the lab had already been set up, and found empty blister packs containing pseudoephedrine -- used to make meth -- purchased from a local pharmacy. Agents said the tablets had been removed and crushed in preparation of the manufacturing process; they also seized two firearms.

In May, the KCSO also stated that Conant had previous arrests dating back to 1996 for driving under suspension, fraudulent checks, marijuana possession and public disorderly.

The KCSO charged Conant and the other subject with possession and manufacturing meth. They also charged Conant with simple possession of marijuana.

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