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SC School Board Chairman Arrested On Multiple Child Sex Charges

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Following his sudden resignation Wednesday, Florence County School District Five Chairman Christopher Garrett Marsh was arrested on multiple child sex charges Thursday.

Chris Marsh, 51, was charged with two counts of first-degree sexual conduct with a minor, two counts of second-degree statutory sexual conduct with a minor, and two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, according to the Florence County Sheriff’s Office.

Officials with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office said that Marsh was arrested following an extensive investigation by child abuse investigators.

According to the sheriff’s office, Marsh allegedly sexually assaulted the victim beginning in 2015 when the child was 5 years old and the sexual abuse continued through February 2021.

Chris Marsh’s wife Mary Costa King Marsh was also arrested Thursday and charged with two counts of unlawful neglect of a child. She was given a $10,000 bond for each charge and released soon after she was booked.

According to the sheriff’s office, Marsh was aware of the abuse in 2015 and “continued to allow the child to be exposed to a substantial risk of physical harm” through Feb. 21, 2021.

WPDE reported that the school district accepted Marsh’s resignation letter, which he submitted on Wednesday. The TV station reported that he did not give a reason for his resignation.

Chris Marsh has served as school board chairman of Florence County School District Five since 2019. He is also president of Hemingway Apparel in Hemingway, South Carolina.

Marsh is from Johnsonville, South Carolina.

Chris Marsh is at least the second South Carolina public official to be arrested on child sex charges in the last six months. He is awaiting a bond hearing.

In September, in former Bamberg County councilman Kerry “Trent” Kinard was arrested and charged with multiple child sex crimes. Kinard is facing 10 child sex crimes charges in Bamberg and Jasper counties, as well as two federal gun charges.

This story will be updated.

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