Crime & Courts

Mainstream Media Picks Up Deon Tedder Investigation

Legacy press confirms state senator under the microscope in connection with 2022 rape case …

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Seven months ago, our media outlet reported exclusively that Deon Tedder – then a senator-elect – was the focus of an ongoing criminal investigation into allegations of “forcible rape” involving an unnamed female victim.

Last Friday afternoon (June 7, 2024), this report finally made its into the mainstream media.

According to reporters Cynthia Beasley and Maggie Brown of WIS TV-10 (NBC – Columbia, S.C.), prosecutors in the office of S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson “lifted a key redaction” in an incident report released last fall related to the case.

This lifting of the redaction confirmed that Tedder – now a sitting state senator – was the suspect in the rape case.

As we previously reported, the alleged rape occurred on April 27, 2022 at The Row – an apartment complex located on Shop Road in downtown Columbia, S.C. Sources familiar with the incident say the alleged victim met Tedder at a legislative event and was sexually assaulted not long thereafter. The rape allegation was “immediately reported to authorities” and the victim consented to the collection of a rape kit, our sources noted.

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Beyond that, little is known about the alleged sexual assault due to massive redactions of public documents.

The incident report related to the allegation contained three pages of “additional narrative,” however every word of that narrative was redacted. Only a line related to the “initial narrative” was left visible in the report – and even that line was partially redacted.

“The victim stated she was touched inappropriately through clothes and later [redacted],” the line from the initial narrative noted. “The victim did not consent to the sexual act.”

Law enforcement and prosecutorial sources cited the pending investigation into Tedder as a lawful exemption in response to our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for the full incident reports.

“Our office has determined that releasing the name of the subject could possibly ‘interfere with the law enforcement proceedings’ and possibly affect the victim’s due process as well as the subject’s,” a statement from the city’s FOIA office noted.

Once the investigation into Tedder concludes, however, these documents should be made public.

Prosecutorial authority in this case would have ordinarily fallen to S.C. fifth circuit solicitor Byron Gipson, however he referred the case to Wilson’s office about a month after the alleged incident took place.

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RELATED | SOUTH CAROLINA SENATOR-ELECT FOCUS OF RAPE INVESTIGATION

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A spokesman for the attorney general declined to comment, but provided us with copies of a May 20, 2022 referral letter (.pdf) from solicitor Gipson – and a May 24, 2022 response letter (.pdf) from deputy attorney general Don Zelenka accepting the case.

While the WIS report broke no new ground, it did contain an on-the-record response from Tedder – who declined to respond to our requests for comment last fall.

“These two-year-old allegations are not true,” Tedder told WIS. “This rumor campaign against me started after I won the special election for state senate and now this comes out (Friday), just days before the election, making it very clear that this is a politically-motivated hit job. Again, These allegations are not true, and it’s an insult to my family and I, and it’s a sad attempt at distracting the voters right before the election.”

Tedder, 34, is a native of Durham, North Carolina. An attorney, he resides in North Charleston, S.C. Tedder graduated from S.C. State University in 2012 he received his law degree from the University of South Carolina in 2015. Tedder was single at the time of the alleged rape but was married last June.

Tedder narrowly defeated fellow state representative Wendell Gilliard in a September primary runoff election to fill the S.C. Senate District 42 seat vacated in May by Marlon Kimpson, who took a trade post in the administration of U.S. president Joe Biden.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Travis Bell Photography)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina and before that he was a bass guitarist and dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and eight children.

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3 comments

SubZeroIQ June 10, 2024 at 10:49 am

Sure, FITS. Alan Wilson accepts the referral and assigns it the supervision of none other than Hatchet-for-Hire Heather (Heather Weiss).
The decision shall, barring a miracle from God, be 1000% made on Hatchet-for-Hire Heather’s PERSONAL interest in the matter.
Remember? When Hatchet-for-Hire was Interim Solicitor, she roiled that office with racist remarks (according to YOUR reporting) and hired none other than Knock-up-the-law-Clerk Knox (Knox McMann) as an assistant solicitor. Apparently, Knock-up-the-law-Clerk Knox failed to get a conviction in the two cases he actually tried: one was a pro se defendant; and the other was against the very bakery murder defendant whose bond cost Judge Alison Renee Lee her federal court nomination back in 2013-2014. It turns out that defendant whom Judge Lee had released on a VERY HIGH bond was not guilty after all.
Not to be mixing cases here; but I sincerely pray red-headed Barbie, released on only $250.57 bond does not drive drunk again and injures someone. Yet, the hypocrisy is stark in the contrast of the attacks on Judge Lee versus the silence on whoever let red-headed Barbie (Katheryn Calhoun Dennis) out on chump change.
Does any one doubt that this being brought against Senator Tedder (whom I do NOT know) solely because he is black?

Reply
JustSomeGuy Top fan June 10, 2024 at 11:01 am

Two things occur to me:

1. There’s a lot bad stuff happening in North Charleston or involving people from North Charleston.

2. I hate it when people use “and I” when they should use “and me”. The worst thing about that is that they probably look down their noses at the people that do it right.

Reply
SubZeroIQ June 11, 2024 at 11:35 am

Yes to your second point, JustSomeGuy. And they call us, to whom good grammar comes naturally, “uppity.”
“Its” and It’s”; “regiment” and “regimen”; “comprised of” when it should be “consisting of” or “constituted of”; etc.. etc.
But as to your first point, I need to see actual, properly-analyzed statistics.
God bless.
BTW, FITS totally missed the story on the fist-fight between Alex Murdaugh and Robert Drayton back when both were in the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center (“ASGDC”) pre-trial. It shows how horrible and mismanaged ASGDC is: those two should NEVER have been in the same “dorm.”
For THAT, there is ample statistical support.

Reply

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