Summerville man convicted of sexually assaulting girl receives 45-year sentence

Jeramy Parks

A Summerville man found guilty this week by a Berkeley County jury of repeatedly raping a young girl has been sentenced to 45 years in state prison.

Jeramy Parks, 34, of Woodduck Drive, was convicted of five counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct toward a child, the 9th Circuit Solicitor’s Office reported in a news release. He must serve at least 85 percent of his 45-year sentence before he is eligible for release, according to prosecutors.

The girl, now 7, first told authorities of the assault in June 2012. The Department of Social Services created a safety plan for the girl’s family, instructing her mother to keep Parks away from her children, the release said.

The mother didn’t listen, prosecutors alleged, and Parks continued to sexually assault the girl for another five months.

An anonymous tip from a neighbor alerted investigators to Parks’ presence at the home and the woman’s children were removed from her care, the release said.

The unidentified woman now faces charges of unlawful conduct toward a child, a felony that carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

A jury heard testimony this week from the girl, law enforcement officers, DSS case workers, relatives, foster parents and an expert witness who spoke on the dynamics of child abuse. Circuit Judge Deadre Jefferson set Parks’ sentence.

Assistant Solicitors Anne Williams and Deborah Herring-Lash, who heads the circuit’s Vulnerable Victims Unit, prosecuted the case.

“This young child was courageous,” Williams said. “She overcame her fears to face her attacker in court and left the jury with no doubt about the truth of her abuse.”

Jefferson sentenced Parks to 30 years on the criminal sexual conduct with a minor charges and 15 years for criminal sexual conduct toward a child. He was found not guilty of abuse of a second victim. Parks had a prior conviction for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature for which he was sentenced to five years in prison.

Reach Christina Elmore at 843-937-5908.