William Harmon Williams

Sexual battery charges against an Aiken County man made earlier this month have been upgraded following an investigation by the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office. 

"The initial charges were bad enough, but the ongoing investigation revealed the assault was worse than originally believed," Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said. "So the charges have been upgraded to reflect that."

William Harmon Williams, 37, of Salley was originally charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. 

Following an investigation, Williams is now charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor under 11, according to a Wednesday news release from the Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office. 

Investigators were notified of possible sexual misconduct activity on Aug. 1 when two Orangeburg County children were reportedly assaulted. 

A parent in the home was informed of the sexual contact when she confronted a child after observing what she believed to be unusual behavior.

Williams was not a stranger to the family or children and had been staying with the Orangeburg County family for a few weeks prior to the incidents, according to the news release.

When confronted by investigators, Williams admitted to having assaulted the victims, according to warrants.  

"We have since discovered there was a more serious type of assault involved in this case," Ravenell said. "This is one of those cases that make you angry since children rely on adults for safety. In this case with this trusted individual, they couldn't."

Williams faces a mandatory minimum of 25 years and up to life in prison on each count, if convicted of the upgraded charges. 

Matthew Enfinger is a general assignment reporter with the Aiken Standard. Follow him on Twitter: @matt_enfinger