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Trial For Former SC Councilman Postponed After 3 More Child Sex Charges Filed Against Him

He faces a total of 13 child sex charges in Jasper and Bamberg counties.

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Trent Kinard

The trial for former Bamberg County councilman Kerry “Trent” Kinard was delayed after three additional child sex charges were filed against him Friday.

On Friday, 49-year-old Kinard — who already faced ten child sex charges and two federal gun charges — was charged with two counts of first-degree criminal criminal sexual conduct with a minor and one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, according to arrest warrants from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).

In the new warrants, Kinard is accused of “digital and oral penetration of the vagina with a juvenile” who was between the ages of 11 and 14 in Bamberg County between 2010 and 2017.

Kinard, who is being represented by well-known attorney and former lawmaker Bakari Sellers, was scheduled for trial on Monday. However, the state asked for another continuance in the case after serving arrest warrants on Friday. The trial is now set for November 1 in Bamberg County.

Sellers said he is “looking forward to trial.”

Kinard has been in jail since December when he was arrested for allegedly lying as he attempted to purchase purchase a 9mm pistol in Columbia, South Carolina while he was out on bond for child sex charges. He pleaded guilty in March to one federal weapons charge and is awaiting sentencing for his federal charge.

In an emotional hearing in February, Circuit Judge Clifton Newman revoked Kinard’s bond after his estranged wife Bridget Kinard testified against him.

“We have lived in fear for when Kerry Kinard is out of jail,” Bridget Kinard said, adding that her estranged spouse “can be very violent and very dangerous.” She said he is an “evil” man with “evil intentions.”

Kinard’s Charges

Probable cause affidavits accompanying the indictments against Kinard detailed graphic child sex crimes dating back to 2008 – as well as crimes that allegedly took place as recently as September.

In the affidavits, police accuse Kinard of:

  • displaying and presenting pornography to a juvenile male between 2008-2019, multiple times a year
  • talking to a juvenile male for the purpose of sex between 2017-2018
  • displaying and presenting porn to a juvenile female while at his residence in September 2020
  • attempting vaginal intercourse with a girl who was between 14-16 years old between the years of 2016 and 2017
  • talking to a juvenile female for the purpose of sex in September 2020
  • touching the private parts of a juvenile female in September 2020

All crimes above allegedly occurred in Bamberg County.

In January, Kinard was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct, unlawful dissemination of obscene material to a child, and committing a lewd act on a child in Jasper County.

The three additional child sex charges stem from crimes alleged while he was living in Ridgeland, South Carolina between 1993 and 1998.

He’s accused of having sex with a child under 14 in 1998, showing a child pornography in 1995, and “repeatedly grabbing, groping and fondling” a child under 16 in 1993, according to the arrest warrants.

Those charges were filed in December.

Who is Kinard?

Kinard is a former S.C. Highway Patrol (SCHP) trooper who was first elected to his seat in 2012.

Following his indictment, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster suspended Kinard from his duties as county councilman.

He lost his reelection bid in the 2020 Democratic primary to challenger Phil Myers, however, and is no longer a councilman.

According to an award nomination, Kinard was very active in the Bamberg community. He was the PTO President of an elementary school, a youth football and basketball coach, and worked at the University of South Carolina as a sports information director.

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