DEMOCRATIC SENATE CANDIDATE UNDER INCREASING SCRUTINY …
Nearly a month after we published our first exclusive report on allegations of sexual misconduct involving S.C. Senate candidate Mike Fanning, The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper has filed its own report on the subject.
As we exclusively reported last month, a 40-year-old woman who goes by the alias Crystal Brightstone has accused Fanning of seducing her in the early 1990s – beginning when she was a 16-year-old student at Estill High School in rural Hampton County.
Fanning was a teacher at the school at the time.
“He used his position of power as a teacher to seduce me as a child,” the woman told us. “As a rising Senior, he informed me one day in his car on campus that he was in love with me. During my senior year, we engaged in intense touching (and) oral sexual activity. I was essentially brainwashed and never told anyone or he told me that he could lose his job.”
Our report also revealed that Fanning was the subject of a Richland County sheriff’s department investigation into similar allegations in 1998 – when he was a teacher at Columbia High School. Fanning was not charged in that case because an assistant Richland County solicitor determined there was “not sufficient evidence for criminal prosecution.”
Fanning, 49, defeated incumbent S.C. Senator Creighton Coleman in a Democratic primary election in June – drawing 56.3 percent of the vote to Coleman’s 43.7 percent. He faces “Republican” candidate Mark Palmer in next month’s general election for S.C. Senate District 17 (map), which includes parts of Chester, Fairfield and York counties.
Two weeks after our original report was filed, the website Blythewood Online reported that Fanning was under investigation by the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) on a “forcible fondling” allegation.
Fanning has issued a blanket denial to this website regarding the allegations, saying he “categorically denied any wrongdoing.”
(Banner image via Facebook)