State law enforcement agents say no charges will be filed against state Sen. Mike Fanning after an investigation into allegations that he inappropriately touched a girl as a teacher in Hampton County.
Fanning told The State newspaper Tuesday that the allegation was “malicious” and “horrifying,” and that the people of his district were not “bamboozled” by it.
Fanning, a Democrat and a former educator, now executive director of the Old English Consortium, was elected to the S.C. Senate District 17 seat in November 2016.
The State Law Enforcement Division confirmed in October 2016 that it was investigating the allegations that Fanning inappropriately touched the girl, then 16, when he was a teacher at Estill High School.
According to a SLED report, the investigation was requested by the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office on Oct. 3, 2016.
The allegations investigated by the agency date to 1993, the report said. A SLED statement released Tuesday at the request of The Herald said the agency’s review found insufficient evidence to support any charges.
“Based on the evidence provided and research of the law, the evidence is insufficient to support any general sessions charges,” the SLED report says.
Fanning, who denied any wrongdoing, said the allegation was “one of the most malicious, horrifying and negative attacks imaginable.”
“The people of this district, a jury of peers, my friends, my coworkers, my neighbors know my character,” Fanning said. “And they knew these allegations did not pass the smell test. From York to Rock Hill to Chester to Fairfield, the people were not bamboozled.”
Senate District 17 includes part of York County, including southern Rock Hill and the area surrounding York, as well as all of Chester and Fairfield counties. Fanning lives near Great Falls, in Chester County.
Fanning defeated incumbent Democrat Creighton Coleman of Fairfield County in the 2016 primary, then beat Republican Mark Palmer in November.