Former substitute teacher, evangelical worker gets 20 years for - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Former substitute teacher, evangelical worker gets 20 years for molesting boy

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A former member of a Cayce Evangelical Christian ministry and Lexington School District Two substitute teacher has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for molesting a young boy in the early to mid 2000's.

According to the Second District Solicitor's Office, Eric Nelson Vancleave, 35, of West Columbia, received the maximum sentence on four charges.

Vancleave was convicted of second degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, committing a lewd act on a minor, criminal sexual conduct, and assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.

From 2002 to 2005, prosecutors said Vancleave sexually abused a boy between the ages of 12 and 16-years-old during overnight camping trips at Barnwell State Park in Barnwell County.

He was first arrested in February, 2010 in West Columbia by members of the United States Marshal's Service Task Force.

At the time, Vancleave was accused of abusing the boy and three others on camping trips at the Barnyard RV Park near West Columbia.

He still faces multiple charges in Lexington County.

Authorities said Vancleave met and befriended the four boys while a member of Pavilion Ministries, an evangelical church in Cayce. Vancleave did not maintain contact with the four boys after he moved from Cayce to West Columbia in 2007, and was no longer is a member of Pavilion Ministries at the time of his arrest.

Lexington County Sheriff James Metts said Vancleave was a camping enthusiast, and that was how he lured his victims. It was also alleged that Vancleave abused the four boys at his former home in Cayce.

The Cayce Department of Public Safety, Lexington County Sheriff's Department and SLED conducted a joint investigation of the allegations. It was then that the alleged abuse in Barnwell County came to light.

Before his arrest, Lexington County School District Two employed Vancleave as a substitute teacher at elementary schools and in an after-school program at Brookland-Cayce Grammar School.

Authorities at the time believed there were more victims. It is unclear if any others came forward.

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