Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thomas Whittaker Convicted of Sexually Assaulting 2 Sisters

A Lexington County man was convicted of seven counts of criminal sexual conduct on a minor after he sexually assaulted two young sisters, aged 8 and 10.

Investigators say 49-year-old Thomas Whittaker of Sandy Spring Lane in Lexington first abused the girls when he worked as a maintenance man at an apartment complex.

In one of the incidents, Lexington deputies say the father of the children walked into Whittaker's bedroom to find the 49-year-old sexually assaulting the younger child.

"He gave these girls a lifetime of horrible memories and stole their innocence," said Assistant Solicitor Debra Moore.

The victims were aged 5 and 6 when Whittaker began his sexual assaults on them. The children's family moved away to Missouri for about a year, but while there, Whittaker visited the family twice.

That's when investigators say he assaulted both children during both visits. After that, Whittaker invited the children's family to live with him in his South Carolina home, rent-free.

According to a news release from the solicitor's office, Whittaker told the children that if they told anyone of the assaults, they would be homeless because their parents had no money to buy a house, and the 49-year-old would be put in jail.

After the children's father discovered the suspect assaulting the children, the other child told her parents about the series of assaults. Investigators say Whittaker confessed to them that he had molested only one of the sisters.

Two cousins of the victims, who also lived in the apartment complex, told investigators that Whittaker had molested them as well.

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