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Christmas sentenced to 18 years for sexually assaulting girls

Posted: March 4, 2014 4:13 p.m.
Updated: March 5, 2014 5:00 a.m.

An Elgin man arrested twice for separate instances of sexually assaulting young girls will spent the next 18 years behind bars.

Monday, Circuit Court Judge R. Ferell Cothran sentenced Ronald Linwood Christmas, 44, of Silicate Way, Elgin, to 18 years in prison following a negotiated plea agreement between his attorney and the 5th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Christmas faced a maximum sentence of between 25 years and up to life in prison on each of two first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges. He also faced 15 years in jail for an additional charge of committing a lewd act on a minor under the age of 16.

Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) investigators first arrested Christmas in September 2011, charging him with first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 11. Investigators alleged Christmas sexually assaulted his stepdaughter multiple times when she was between 5 and 8 years old. During a subsequent court hearing, the solicitor’s office revealed the KCSO had served Christmas with a second warrant of committing a lewd act on a minor under 16. Christmas allegedly fondled his ex-wife’s step-niece when she was 11 years old.

In May 2013, deputies charged Christmas yet again, this time on a second charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor under 11. Investigators alleged that Christmas engaged in inappropriate behavior with a girl between the ages of 7 and 8 between 2005 and 2007.

As part of Monday’s plea agreement, Christmas pled guilty to all three charges with the sentences to run concurrent for a total of 18 years’ incarceration in a S.C. Department of Corrections prison.

“Although the children that Mr. Christmas assaulted will forever be affected by his actions, there is some consolation for them and their families knowing that he is being sent to prison for a long time where he cannot hurt any other children,” Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said in a press release.

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