Sex offender accused of exposing himself to York girl

A registered sex offender is accused of exposing himself to a young York girl, walking in on her while she used the bathroom and often lying in her bed while she was asleep over several months, deputies say.

On May 27, deputies spoke with a woman who reported that her 9-year-old daughter was being sexually harassed by Christopher Lee Powell, 43, according to a York County Sheriff’s report. The girl told her mother that when she would get off the school bus, Powell would expose himself to her. He would walk in on her while she was using the restroom, the report states, and lie down in her bed when she was taking a nap.

She also said Powell showed her a book of pictures he had of male and female private parts, the report states. She maintained that he never sexually assaulted her. Questioned by deputies, Powell denied the allegations, the report states, saying he and the girl’s mother argued earlier and he felt the accusations stemmed from their dispute.

The girl underwent a forensic interview at Safe Passage in Rock Hill, where she disclosed “various inappropriate sexually-related incidents” involving Powell, the report states. Detectives issued warrants on Powell, charging him with disseminating obscene material to a minor under 12, criminal solicitation of a minor and third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. Deputies served the warrants on Powell on Tuesday.

He was being held Wednesday evening at the York County Detention Center on a $30,000 bond.

Powell has a limited criminal history in South Carolina that includes convictions for driving under suspension, possession of marijuana and violating the open container law, according to records with the State Law Enforcement Division. But, a search on the national sex offender registry shows that in 1996 Powell was convicted of aggravated sexual battery in Virginia. His victim, the registry shows, was a 5-year-old girl.