Man found guilty of sex crimes with child at church

PICKENS — A Liberty man was convicted of sex crimes against a minor and sentenced to 32 years in prison last week.

Gary Clifton Hamilton, 56, was found guilty of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and lewd act with a minor, according to 13th Circuit solicitor Walt Wilkins.

Hamilton must serve at least 85 percent of the 32-year term, or more than 27 years, before he becomes eligible for parole.

According to a news release from Wilkins’ office, assistant solicitors Brandi Batson Hinton and Courtney Landsverk were able to establish that between Aug. 1 and Aug. 31, 2011, Hamilton sexually assaulted the victim, then 3 years old, at a church parking lot in Pickens County.

The crime allegedly occurred at the Central Church of God, where Hamilton was a member.

The initial arrest was made by the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO), but after further investigation it was determined the incident occurred in the Central town limits, resulting in a transfer of the case to the Central Police Department (CPD).

Both the ACSO and CPD were able to secure written confessions from Hamilton.

Hamilton was sentenced to a 32-year prison term for the criminal sexual conduct charge and a concurrent 15-year sentence for the lewd act charge, according to court documents. Hamilton will be given credit for time already served.