John Thurston Ussery Jr., 25, of 311 Parlock Circle, Irmo, was arrested Nov. 14 on charges of first degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor.
Ussery and his wife were staying at the alleged victim’s home in Newberry County.
The 8-year-old was left in Ussery’s care when the alleged victim’s father and stepmother went out to shop for a vehicle on Oct. 13, reports state.
Ussery is accused of then taking a bath with the child and sexually assaulted her.
After forensic interviews with the child, Ussery was arrested and charged on Nov. 14.
A charge of first degree criminal sexual conduct with a child under the age of 11, if convicted, carries a sentence of 25 years to life in prison without parole. Due to the seriousness of the crime and sentence, bond must be set by a circuit judge.
However, the day after his arrest, Ussery was let out of jail by Magistrate Judge Tom Abraham.
The Sheriff’s Office had the solicitor sign a rule to show cause to order Ussery back into court on Nov. 30.
But Ussery turned himself in yesterday and a bond hearing was held by resident Circuit Judge Eugene “Bubba” Griffith.
The alleged victim’s father, who could not be present at the impromptu bond hearing, requested through the victim advocate’s office that a high cash bond be set.
Defense attorney Matthew McGuire asked for bond to be low and stated there were reasons the magistrate let him out with a bond.
McGuire also questioned the credibility of the child whose mother, grandmother and aunt came to the courtroom in support of Ussery.
Griffith said he had to think of the rights of both Ussery and the victim.
Bond was set at $100,000 surety, which amounts to $10,000 in cash. Ussery is to have no contact with the victim’s family, must abide by a 9 p.m. curfew and wear an electronic monitor. He is allowed to go to places like church and work. He remains in jail at press time.