Documents: Man sentenced for sexually abusing 12-year-old blamed PTSD meds

Published: Aug. 6, 2014 at 8:58 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 16, 2014 at 1:19 AM EDT
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(Source: Lexington County Sheriff's Department)
(Source: Lexington County Sheriff's Department)

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Leland Victor Nielsen, III, was sentenced to life after being convicted of aggravated sexual abuse of a 12-year-old child.

Nielsen, 32, was convicted on four counts of aggravated sexual abuse and four counts sexual abuse of a minor after evidence was presented in a four-day trial.

The prosecution noted that Nielsen "systematically and methodically performed more and more sexual acts with the child, culminating with forcible sexual assault of the child on numerous occasions," according to a release from the U.S. Attorney's office.

According to a June 2013 indictment, Nielsen engaged in a "systematic grooming process" consisting of giving the child special treatment, gifts, and even showing the child pornography while they lived at Fort Jackson.

The indictment details eight separate instances of sexual abuse.

Other court documents entered as exhibits also say Nielsen first claimed his medication for PTSD related to an explosion in Elgin may have caused him to "not be able to help himself."

This case was prosecuted in federal court because it happened at Fort Jackson. Despite giving the FBI a full confession before he was arrested, Nielsen would later flat out deny he did anything wrong during his court trial.

The jury took just four hours to deliver a verdict.

"You can't assume just because you're on a military base that you're insulated from this kind of activity," said U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles. "I do think they took a small step towards making at least South Carolina a safer place by sending this individual to a place where he will never be able to hurt children again."

Prosecutors would not comment when asked if nielsen had additional victims, but they do say Nielsen has no criminal history, and was not in the military at the time of the crime.

Calls to Nielsen's defense attorney were not returned on Wednesday.

Nielsen is currently being held at the Lexington County jail.

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