On May 24, 2023, William E. McConnell, 37, of Cayce, South Carolina was charged with sexual exploitation of a minor in the third degree as he awaited the disposition of similar charges stemming from a case which dates back to November 2020. Despite his alleged re-offense, McConnell was granted bond in the amount of $150,000 with home detention, GPS monitoring, and no internet access.
This is McConnell’s second arrest in less than three years on similar charges. On November 19, 2020, McConnell was arrested and charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor in the second degree; possession of a weapon during a violent crime; and distribution of methamphetamine in the first degree.
Those charges were filed after authorities received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. McConnell was arrested along with three other men following that tip. He received the most counts of any of the three men – although it is not yet known whether he and the other defendants were allegedly acting in coordination.
According to the office of S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson, the tips that came to the center were sent separately.
In November 2020, chief count magistrate Matthew Myers set bond for McConnell at $3,000 for each of the five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor in the second degree, $5,000 for the possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime charge and $5,000 for the drug charge — totaling $25,000 in bond for McConnell, according to the Lexington County Public Index.
“The 2020 charges are still pending while the forensics were being processed,” a statement from the attorney general’s office noted. “Our investigator and attorney attended McConnell’s bond hearing yesterday and spoke to the court. Investigators are still processing the electronics seized in this week’s search warrant. Bond was set at $150,000, home detention, GPS monitoring, and no internet access.”
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Should McConnell have been granted bond this go-round? And does the fact he received it put the community in danger?
For years, this news outlet has raised awareness of the escalating dangers associated with excessive judicial leniency in the Palmetto State – warning state lawmakers that the judges they keep appointing are materially eroding public safety (and eroding public faith in the integrity of the judiciary).
Those warnings have gone unheeded, unfortunately.
As with anyone accused of committing any crime, McConnell is considered innocent until proven guilty by our criminal justice system – or until such time as he may wish to enter some form of allocution in connection with a plea agreement with prosecutors related to any of the charges filed against him.
Stay tuned to this news outlet for updates on this case …
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