A 60-year-old Bluffton man accused of sexually abusing a young girl is headed to prison.
John David Haltom was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty Monday to third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor in Beaufort County General Sessions Court. Swanson recommended the 10-year sentence.
“The victim in this case did a brave thing by coming forward about the abuse she endured at the hands of someone she trusted,” said Assistant Solicitor Hunter Swanson of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, who prosecuted the case. “This is a resolution that resulted in the prison sentence we were seeking, without having to retraumatize a reluctant, young victim by putting her on the stand.”
The abuse began when the girl was around 7 and continued until she was about 12. The girl disclosed the abuse about a year later in 2017 while talking to a therapist. Additional information about the sexual abuse was revealed during a follow-up forensic interview.
Haltom pleaded guilty as indicted to one charge of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. He must register as a sex offender.
Circuit Court Judge R. Ferrell Cothran Jr. handed down Monday’s sentence.
Swanson heads up the Solicitor’s Office Special Victims Unit, which prosecutes cases involving sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse and other crimes against vulnerable populations.