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New sex assault charges filed against son of SC man accused of shooting officers

Seth Hopkins (copy) (copy)

Seth Hopkins. Provided/Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center

Authorities on Friday filed eight new sex assault charges against the 29-year-old son of a man arrested last year after a shootout that killed two officers and left five others wounded in Florence County. 

The most serious of the new charges faced by Seth Hopkins are five counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 11, court records show.  

On Oct. 3, three sheriff’s deputies went to a large home on Ashton Drive, a cul-de-sac in a suburban neighborhood west of Florence, to interview the younger Hopkins. A girl told investigators with the Florence County Sheriff's Office that he had sexually assaulted her.

Authorities planned to search Hopkins’ bedroom for the girl’s undergarments and any other female clothing.

Deputies and sheriff's investigators who pulled up to the Hopkins family home that day were ambushed by gunfire that rained down from a second-story window. The accused shooter was Hopkins' father, 74-year-old disabled Vietnam War marksman Frederick Hopkins.

Sgt. Terrence Carraway, 52, of the Florence Police Department was killed that day, and three other city officers were injured. Several weeks later, sheriff's investigator Farrah Turner died from injuries suffered in the shooting. In all, the elder Hopkins is accused of killing two law enforcement officers and wounding five others. 

Investigators recovered 129 guns from the home.

If convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 11, Seth Hopkins faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison without the possibility of parole on each count.

Also included in Friday's filings are two new counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor where the victim is under 16 years old and the actor is over 14 years old, and one count of voyeurism, according to court records.

The third-degree counts each carry a punishment of no more than 15 years in prison, a fine, or both, according to state law. The voyeurism count is a misdemeanor offense. Hopkins faces a fine of up to $500 and up to three years in prison. 

Hopkins had previously been charged with one count each of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor under 11 years old, and second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor between 11 and 14 years old, court records show. He faces up to 20 years in prison on the second-degree count.

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Reach Gregory Yee at 843-937-5908. Follow him on Twitter @GregoryYYee.

Gregory Yee covers breaking news and public safety. He's a native Angeleno and previously covered crime and courts for the Press-Telegram in Long Beach, CA. He studied journalism and Spanish literature at the University of California, Irvine.

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