“REPUBLICAN” CONGRESSMAN ACCUSED OF ROUGHING UP HIS NIECE
The Beaufort County, S.C. sheriff’s office has released a handful of documents related to its preliminary investigation of child abuse allegations against U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford. The probe is now being handled by the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED).
News of Sanford’s alleged abuse was first reported late Friday here on FITS.
As we revealed, the incident is alleged to have occurred on Sanford’s family plantation near Beaufort, S.C. – and is said to have involved the young daughter of Sanford’s brother, John Sanford, and his wife, Julia Umbreit.
According to our sources, the abusive activity took place on June 18 after Sanford’s niece squirted him with a water gun. Angry at being doused with water, the former two-term governor of South Carolina is accused of roughing up the girl and dangling her “by her ankles off (a) dock” – threatening to drop her into the shallow water below.
The next day the girl was reportedly “limping noticeably” as a result of her injuries – and taken to see a pediatrician. The pediatrician who attended to the girl reportedly told her mother that if she did not report the matter to authorities, he would.
On June 21 – three days after the alleged incident took place – Beaufort deputies interviewed Umbreit and her daughter and “took pictures of her injuries.”
Deputies also “conducted a recorded interview” with the girl and obtained from her a drawing of the dock where the incident allegedly took place.
Additionally, deputies subpoenaed medical records in connection with the alleged incident – and obtained several statements and text messages as part of their inquiry.
After conducting these initial inquiries, the Beaufort County sheriff’s office referred the matter to the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) “for further investigation.”
(To view the redacted documents related to this case for yourself, CLICK HERE).
Sanford has twice refused to respond to our request for comment regarding the incident, but that’s not surprising given this website’s history with the veteran Palmetto politician.
Sources close to the congressman did tell us there was “more to the story,” though – claiming Umbreit has “an axe to grind against (Sanford)” in the aftermath of a 2011 drowning death that took place at a birthday party on the family plantation.
Specifically, we’re told there is a major dispute within the Sanford family over the various trust funds accessed to settle a lawsuit brought by the family of six-year-old Camilo Andres Restrepo-Lopez – the victim in the 2011 drowning.
Once the genuine article when it came to defending taxpayers, Sanford has become just another status quo “Republican” in the aftermath of the 2009 sex scandal that derailed his presidential aspirations (and nearly cost him his job as governor of South Carolina). In fact we’ve been extensively chronicling Sanford’s descent into mushy middle-dom since his return to the U.S. House in 2013 (here, here and here).
Sanford survived a primary challenge last month from liberal “Republican” Jenny Horne – although he dramatically underperformed expectations. Not only that, Sanford is staring down a potentially major campaign finance scandal associated with his “victory.”
UPDATE: Sanford’s brother responds.