Police seek additional victims

Bradford J. SmithA Sumter man has been arrested for molesting a Clarendon child for whom he provided therapeutic autistic services.

According to Det. Eric Rosdail of the Manning Police Department, Bradford J. Smith, 27, of Sumter, was arrested on Jan. 19, and charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First Degree.

Reports state that the mother of the child (both identities are being withheld) had filed a report that Smith had assaulted her child by attempting to choke him in December of 2009. At the time, Smith was a therapist with the S.C. Early Autism Project (SCEAP), a Sumter private agency that provides both in-home and in-school services for children in Clarendon County.

Based on statements made by the victim to another therapist, police were able to issue a warrant that led to Smith’s arrest for Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First Degree, a charge that is limited to victims under the age of 11. If Smith is convicted of this charge, he could face a maximum of 30 years in prison.

Officials at SCEAP would neither confirm nor deny that Smith was terminated from his position with the agency, stating that it was SCEAP’s policy to not speak to the media. They would, however, confirm that Smith’s employment with SCEAP ended on April 21, 2010, according to Carissa Baun, SCEAP Human Resources Director.

According to Rosdail, Smith’s last known employment was as a counselor at the Community Education Center (CEC) at the Turbeville Correctional Institution. The CEC is a private contractor at the prison and often works with youthful offenders.

According to Chris Greeter, corporate spokesperson for CEC, Smith is no longer employed by the agency. Greeter was unable to confirm whether Smith resigned or was terminated from his position.

Following his arrest on Jan. 19, Smith was released on a $50,000 surety ($5,000 cash) bond.

The mother has had the child seen by a trauma therapist and sessions with the child were videotaped.

“We have conducted a very thorough investigation and believe we have a very strong case,” Rosdail said.

However, he said, there may be other victims that were under Smith’s care, and Manning Police officials are extremely interested in speaking with those children’s parents or legal guardians.

If your child has been treated by Smith, please contact Det. Eric Rosdail at (803) 435-8859. Identities of all parties will be held in strictest confidence.