Closing arguments are expected today in the trial of a 47-year-old North Charleston man accused of sexually assaulting five victims over the course of three decades, according to court records and the state prosecutor.
Alan Burns faces 12 counts of criminal sexual conduct and committing a lewd act on a minor, according to state prosecutor Debbie Herring-Lash. Some of the alleged victims of the abuse came forward with their claims in 2010 and 2011, records filed in the 9th Judicial Circuit in Charleston show.
Burns, who already is a registered sex offender, is representing himself and could not be reached Thursday. He is being held in the Charleston County Detention Center.
Herring-Lash declined to comment on the pending trial.
Burns was arrested in 2010 after a family member, now an adult, told police he was sexually assaulted in 1997 and 1998. The man said Burns twice sexually assaulted him at a house in Mount Pleasant when he was a young boy, according to court filings. Other abuse occurred between 1981 and 1983, when Burns allegedly sexually assaulted another family member, a young girl. The woman, who came forward with the allegations last year, said Burns forced her to watch him masturbate in a bedroom, the filings show.
Another female victim, who also came forward last year, said Burns assaulted her between 1982 and 1984. She said Burns threatened to “cut her up if she told and hurt anyone that she did tell,” according to the filings.
A filing from 2002 shows that Burns was accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl while she washed clothes at his house in January of that year.
The bizarre case file includes dozens of pages of court documents handwritten by Burns, including discovery requests, complaints about jail conditions and accusations that detention center officers destroyed evidence he could have used in his defense. One filing requests a circuit court judge to recuse herself because Burns claims the two were romantically involved in the early 1980s when some of the alleged abuses occurred. Another accuses detention center officers of poisoning his food.
Arguments are scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m.