Former trooper charged with sexual assault

info@islandpacket.comAugust 23, 2013 

A former S.C. Highway Patrol trooper in Jasper County was arrested Wednesday and charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

Officers with the State Law Enforcement Division arrested Robert James Priester, 54, of Ridgeland for allegedly sexually assaulting the minor against her will on July 28.

According to the arrest affidavit, Priester used "his status as a well-known family friend" in the assault. He also allowed the victim, who was unlicensed, to drive his vehicle, the affidavit said.

Priester is an administrative clerk in the Jasper County Auditor's Office, a position he has held for about two years, said Ronnie Malphrus, county director of administrative services. Priester was still an employee as of Friday afternoon, Malphrus said.

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