Bond set for firefighter charged in sexual assault

Brian Lee Gambrell
Brian Lee Gambrell

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Winnsboro Police Chief Wayne Yates says a firefighter has been charged after sexually assaulting an underage girl in a Winnsboro subdivision.

Yates says 47-year-old Brian Lee Gambrell sexually assaulted the child at the Sand Creek Hills Subdivision.

"He had sex with a 10-year-old girl," says Chief Yates.

Winnsboro police say it happened on September 4 in Gambrell's neighborhood swimming pool.
As president of the homeowner's association, chief Yates says Gambrell is in charge of the pool. He's also a 14-year veteran Columbia firefighter.

"This is going to be something that is going to stay with her the rest of her life," says Yates.

Chief Yates says Gambrell's 9-year-old daughter and the 10-year-old victim are friends. The girls were supposed to meet at the community pool, but Yates says the 10-year-old got there first.

"Somehow or another they ended up in the swimming pool together where the assault took place," says Yates.
The girl told her mother, who then called police. Yates says the mom suspected something.

"Her daughter had been exhibiting some type of behavior that was uncharacteristic of her," he told WIS News 10.

Yates suggests that gut feeling helps in cases like this.

"Since we've started this investigation, we've had people come forward saying, 'I've seen this' or, 'I've seen that.' Well those suspicions probably could have stopped this," says Yates.

In addition to the charges related to sex with the 10-year-old, Chief Yates says Brian Gambrell faces more charges for exposing himself in another case.
Yates also says more charges could come for Gambrell unrelated to the crimes he's accused of now.

He's being held at the Fairfield County jail on $100,500 bond.

Reported by Brandi Cummings

Updated by Bryce Mursch