Rep. Thad Viers pleads guilty to harassment charge - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Rep. Thad Viers pleads guilty to harassment charge

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Former state Rep. Thad Viers pleaded guilty in court on Wednesday to a harassment charge stemming from several incidents with his ex-girlfriend.

Judge Ed Cottingham accepted the guilty plea and sentenced Viers to 1 year in prison suspended to 60 days and 1 year probation. Viers will serve his sentence on weekends at the county jail.

During the sentencing, Cottingham told Viers that he would be watched "like a hawk."

"If I get one indication you've violated my order, I'm going to revoke your year as soon as I can put my hands on you," said Cottingham.

A reserved Viers accepted his punishment and spoke outside the courtroom.

"This, today is a result of a relationship that went bad," said Viers. "I'm moving on with my life, start practicing law and get my law license back, and I wish the victim well."

Viers was arrested in January 2012 after his ex-girlfriend told investigators he continued to call, text, email, and show up at her home and work for more than five months after they broke up.

Viers' law license was suspended, he resigned from his House seat, and he was forced to abandon his campaign for Seventh Congressional District.

The ex-lawmaker still has burglary and larceny charges hanging over him. If he ever violates probation or contacts the victim again, he will be tried for those charges, which could get him 25 years.

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