An Aiken County sex offender was sentenced on Friday to 30 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of multiple child sex abuse charges.
William Wallace Pou, 34, of Aiken, was found guilty on four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, four counts of a lewd act upon a child and one count of solicitation of a minor. He’s been in jail since his arrest and will get credit for time served.
Assistant Solicitor Ashley Agnew, who prosecuted the case, said three of the criminal sexual conduct charges were brought because the victim was younger than 11 years of age. The fourth was because Pou had a prior conviction of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, she said.
The charges stemmed from acts that occurred between 2008 until about two weeks before Pou was arrested in October 2011, Agnew said. Pou was accused of fondling one of the female victims from the time she was 8 years old until age 11, Agnew said.
“That’s where the lewd acts come from,” she said. “He’s also accused of digitally penetrating her, which is where the criminal sexual conduct charges come from.”
The two solicitation of a minor charges, one of which the jury found Pou not guilty on, stem from Pou’s alleged attempts to get the two victims to perform oral sex on him, Agnew said.
Assistant Solicitor Beth Ann Young, who also prosecuted, said the abuse went on “until law enforcement got involved.”
“It was chronic sexual abuse,” she said.
Pou has multiple convictions on his record, including criminal domestic violence, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, which was pleaded down from the original criminal sexual conduct charge, second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and child neglect.
Because there was no DNA evidence, Agnew said much of the prosecution’s case depended on testimony from the two victims, who are now 11 and 12 years old.
“The heart of the case was that these victims had to get up there and testify about what happened to them,” Young said. “It was very difficult, as it would be for anybody, but especially for these victims that are so young.”
Pou maintained his innocence on Friday, even during sentencing when he apologized to Circuit Court Judge Doyet A. “Jack” Early for an “outburst” that happened earlier.
“I’ll accept your apology for that,” Early said. “Are you feeling sorry for anything else?”
“No sir,” Pou said. “I’m not guilty.”
There were three incidents in the court room during the weeklong trial, one of which happened while the mother of the two victims was leaving the courtroom after testifying.
“As she was leaving the court room, he shouted something at her,” Young said, adding that what Pou shouted was “very inappropriate.” Also, Pou was escorted from the courtroom during the reading of the verdicts on Friday after exhibiting “shifty or flighty behavior,” Young said.
“The court staff moved closer to him. The judge asked if he wanted to leave the courtroom and he said he did,” she said.
Early said during sentencing that he also asked a woman to leave the courtroom during the trial because she was “staring and glaring” at the young girls while they were testifying.
The trial was Agnew’s first with the Second Circuit Solicitor’s Office, which she joined in August.
“She did an outstanding job,” Young said. “This was a very difficult case.”
Teddy Kulmala covers the crime beat for the Aiken Standard. He is a graduate of Clemson University and hails from Williston.
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