Crime & Public Safety

Bluffton man charged with sexual assault of two children under 11 years old, police say

Child sexual abuse statistics in the United States

One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
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One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

John Thomas Basile, 63, of Lilac Lane in Bluffton was arrested Wednesday on two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 11, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office release and jail records.

If convicted, Basile faces a minimum of 25 years in prison for each count, without the possibility of a suspended sentence or probation. The maximum sentence is life in prison.

He was being held at Beaufort County Detention Center Wednesday awaiting a bond hearing.

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John Thomas Basile, 63, of Lilac Lane in Bluffton was being held at Beaufort County Detention Center Wednesday. Beaufort County Detention Center

The Sheriff’s Office started investigating Basile last week after receiving a report from Coastal Carolina Medical Center that two small children may have been sexually assaulted.

A safety plan was developed by the Department of Social Services for the children after police interviewed witnesses and realized Basile had regular contact with the children.

The two children were interviewed by staff members of Hopeful Horizons, the release says.

“Through the forensic interviews, it was learned that — on at least one occasion — both children had been sexually assaulted by John Basile” at their home, the release says.

After the interview with the children and other witnesses, the Sheriff’s Office obtained warrants, searched Basile’s residence and seized electronics and electronic storage devices, the release says.

Sheriff’s Office investigators saw Basile driving in the area of Lilac Lane Wednesday morning. He was pulled over and arrested without incident during a traffic stop.

Additional charges could come after investigators review the seized property.

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