Local musician accused of sex crimes to appear before judge

John Brannen

A Charleston musician accused of sexually assaulting a young girl during a two-year period is will likely be released from jail on bail today.

Singer-songwriter John Brannen, 60, is charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of committing a lewd act on a child under 14.

His attorney, Andy Savage asked a judge to set bail for Brannen, who has been jailed since last week.

Circuit Judge J.C. Nicholson set a $50,000 surety bail for Brannan and also ordered certain conditions if he’s released. Brannan can’t have contact with the victim or her mother. He must undergo alcohol and drug abuse treatment and counseling. He must be treated for his Attention Deficit Disorder. He must also surrender his passport.

Nearly a dozen people were in the courtroom in support of Brannan. Some of them spoke about him and how they don’t believe he committed the accused crimes.

Brannen’s website bills him as an American roots and heartland rock singer who has signed contracts with Mercury Records in Nashville and Sly Dog in Detroit. He was born in Savannah but raised in Charleston.

The accusations against him first arose from 2009 to 2011 but were revived in January after the alleged victim, now 9, told counselors about her encounters with Brannen, according to the Mount Pleasant Police Department.

Check back for updates.

Reach Natalie Caula at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.