The three Rock Hill boys arrested in April after a 19-year-old woman said she was sexually assaulted have pleaded guilty to lesser charges, prosecutors said. The children have not yet been sentenced, pending court-ordered evaluations that could take weeks.
A set of 12-year-old twins and a 13-year-old were charged after the woman claimed the 13-year-old – who lived in the same building as her at a north Rock Hill apartment complex – sexually assaulted her in her apartment after asking for a light for candles.
The 13-year-old, initially charged with criminal sexual conduct, pleaded guilty to first degree assault and battery, said Whitney Payne, 16th Circuit assistant solicitor for juvenile cases. That charge includes a provision for improper touching, Payne said.
The boy had been in state Department of Juvenile Justice custody since his arrest and remains in a group home, pending evaluation and sentencing.
The state Department of Social Services was ordered by a judge to investigate the teen’s family and home.
Shortly after the twins were charged, prosecutors reduced the charges of criminal sexual conduct against each to assault and battery second degree. Both pleaded guilty to lesser charges of third degree assault and battery, Payne said. The twins told police the 13-year-old defendant assaulted the woman.
The twins allegedly snuck out of the family apartment while one parent was at work and another was asleep. They helped the victim after the assault by the 13-year-old. However, police said in previous hearings the 12-year-olds were initially laughing and at least one of them locked the victim inside the apartment.
The twins have been in the custody of a grandparent in another part of the state since a court ordered their relocation in May.