Former firefighter charged with unlawful sexual conduct of a minor

Published: Nov. 2, 2013 at 12:12 AM EDT|Updated: Nov. 12, 2013 at 1:12 AM EST
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(Source: Kershaw County Detention Center)
(Source: Kershaw County Detention Center)

KERSHAW COUNTY, SC (WIS) - A now former Lughoff firefighter surrendered to authorities Friday after the Kershaw County Sheriff's Office obtained an arrest warrant, charging him with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

Authorities say Daniel Timothy Brown , 24, had been engaging in an inappropriate sexual relationship with an underage girl.

The victim admitted to the Lugoff Fire Department that she had sex with Brown on several occasions, authorities say.

On Oct. 23, Lugoff Fire Chief Dennis Ray contacted a Kershaw County Sheriff's Office investigator and informed him of the allegation and requested that the KCSO investigate the matter. In the interim, Brown was immediately placed on employment suspension without pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

"We are all saddened by the news and it is truly a sad day for our department; a sad day for the entire profession when negative incidents involve one of our own," Chief Ray said.  "It is a reminder to all of us in public safety that what we do in our personal lives during our personal time away from the job can have a negative effect on our professional lives on the job. The alleged criminal activity occurred when the employee was off duty and did not occur on the property of the fire department or under department staff supervision. The other firefighters of the department are saddened by the loss of one of their own, but understand the standards for being a firefighter at Lugoff."

A KCSO investigator scheduled a forensic interview with the young victim who disclosed that there were four occasions where inappropriate sexual conduct took place. Two of these incidents took place in Lee County and the other two which were unlawful, took place in Kershaw County at Brown's residence, authorities said.

Based on this information as well as some additional evidence, the investigator obtained an arrest warrant for Brown charging him with criminal sexual conduct with a minor victim under 16 (2nd degree). The case is still under investigation.

"This is a very unfortunate incident on several fronts. Although these activities did not take place while on duty, the reputation of a very fine fire department has been tarnished. There is also the damage done to the victim. Adult men everywhere need to realize that they cannot engage in this kind of activity with underage girls without legal consequences," said Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews. "I commend Chief Ray and his staff for addressing this issue quickly and responsibly."

Before surrendering to authorities, Brown resigned from the fire department.

Brown's bond has been set at $50,000.

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