South Carolina

Former SC police officer charged with spying on woman let out on bail

A former Upstate police officer faces charges after recording a woman against her will, according to state police.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division charged Mark Anthony Bolden with a peeping tom sex crime. The 54-year-old was a police officer with the Central Police Department in Pickens County, a division agent said in a statement.

The South Carolina Code of Law defines a “peeping tom” crime as one in which a person spies “through windows, doors, or other like places, on or about the premises of another” person. The statute outlaws video or audio recording people during a “peeping tom” offense.

Bolden is accused of secretly recording a woman when she was nude and changing her clothes between March 18 and 25, according to an arrest warrant. The victim was unaware of the videos. Investigators said they found the video on Bolden’s laptop.

During the agents’ investigation they spoke with the victim and defendant. Bolden’s statement is cited as evidence for his arrest in the warrant.

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The police agency that Bolden worked for requested that state agents investigate the claim against its former officer.

Agents arrested Bolden Aug. 22 and booked him in the Pickens County Detention Center. A judge released him from jail without having to pay bail but ordered Bolden to not communicate with the victim, court records show.

Bolden is scheduled for his first court appearance in October.

The former officer resigned from the Central Police Department, an agency of only 10 officers, in December 2018 during a tumultuous time for the police agency, according to the Greenville News.

A peeping tom offense is a misdemeanor punishable with three years in prison and a $500 fine.

The 13th Circuit Solicitor’s Office headed by Solicitor W. Walter Wilkins will prosecute the case against Bolden.

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David Travis Bland won the South Carolina Press Association’s 2017 Judson Chapman Award for community journalism. As The State’s crime, police and public safety reporter, he strives to inform communities about crimes that affect them and give deeper insight into victims, the accused and law enforcement. He studied history with a focus on the American South at the University of South Carolina.