BLUFFTON

Bluffton man accused of sexual assault of sleeping woman

astice@islandpacket.comSeptember 10, 2012 

William Riddle

(Editor's note, July 3, 2014: The court has ordered that all records related to William Riddle's arrest on charges of third-degree criminal sexual conduct be expunged, according to General Sessions Court records.)

A Bluffton man has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman at his home while she was sleeping after a night at the bars, according to the Bluffton Police Department.

William Riddle, 40, was charged Saturday after the victim turned over to police photographs that allegedly show that Riddle had sexually assaulted her while she was asleep.

Riddle is charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony. He has been released after posting a $25,000 bond, according to the Beaufort County Detention Center.

Reached Monday, Riddle said the allegations are "completely false." He declined further comment without consulting his attorney, whom he declined to name.

According to a police report, the alleged victim is in her mid-20s. She made the report from the Hilton Head Hospital emergency room Saturday morning.

She told police she had been drinking with Riddle, his wife and friends of hers at several Bluffton bars throughout Friday evening.

The last thing she remembers was Riddle calling a cab early Saturday. She said she was awakened several times in the night by "flashing lights" and fully awoke without clothes on at Riddle's home in the Pine Ridge neighborhood Saturday morning.

She found a camera that contained more than 30 photographs of her after she had passed out, some of which also depicted Riddle sexually assaulting her, according to the report.

Police Sgt. Joe Babkiewicz said the photographs were enough evidence to charge Riddle. Criminal sexual conduct in the third degree is when sexual intercourse takes place while the victim is incapacitated, including while drunk or drugged.

The woman told police she believes Riddle drugged her drink. A friend she was with that evening also told police she believes her drink was drugged because she became ill and had to go home, where she blacked out and felt she was behaving strangely.

Babkiewicz said a toxicology test on the victim is being conducted at the S.C. Law Enforcement Division lab, but results are not yet available. However, investigators have determined both women had mixed prescription medication and alcohol that evening, which could have also led to strange behavior and blackouts, Babkiewicz said.

A supplemental report detailing further interviews has not yet been released. However, Babkiewicz said Riddle and his wife told police they brought the woman home together and had consensual sexual intercourse with her before she fell asleep. The victim told police she works for Riddle's wife at Kid's College in Bluffton, a childcare center.

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