Temporary school employee accused of sex crime with Pelion Middle School student

The man was found in a school bathroom with a female student.
Updated: May. 25, 2021 at 6:21 PM EDT
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PELION, S.C. (WIS) - A man faces charges after an employee found him in the bathroom with a student at Pelion Middle School.

Juston Smith, 21, of West Columbia, is accused of criminal sexual conduct with a minor between the ages of 11 and 14.

Smith was working as a temporary contract employee at Pelion Middle School when he “had a sexual encounter with a female student Monday,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said.

A staff member at Pelion Middle found Smith in a bathroom stall with the victim, deputies said.

Deputies arrested Smith that day after major crimes detectives came to the middle school to interview him, the victim and a witness, the sheriff said.

Investigators did collect video evidence in the case.

“We take this very seriously,” Principal Kailanya Brailey said. “It is unacceptable for anyone to come into our school and hurt a child entrusted to our care. The fact that this is an ongoing police investigation limits what we can say about it at this time. However, I must say that our school has some of the best teachers and employees you will find anywhere. This individual is not one of our employees and does not represent who we are.”

Lexington County School District One said Smith had been working at Pelion Middle for two days, employed through a janitorial service provider.

“Administrators acted in accordance with Board Policy and district procedure and immediately contacted his employer and asked that he not return,” a district spokeswoman said. “This is standard operating procedure.”

Smith is being held in the Lexington County Detention Center.

He had a bond hearing Tuesday morning. Online jail records show he was granted a $10,000 cash/surety bond.

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