Man accused of sex crimes against child in Darlington Co.

Matthew Lee Bauer (Source: Darlington County Detention Center)
Matthew Lee Bauer (Source: Darlington County Detention Center)

DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) The Darlington County Sheriff's Office has arrested a 24-year-old man who allegedly sexually assaulted a 5 year-old child two years ago. But the victim's family learned this wasn't the first time he faces similar charges.

Sheriff Wayne Byrd with the Darlington County Sheriff's Office says when Matthew Baur allegedly committed a sexual act on a 5 year-old two years ago, he was out on bond pending a trial for similar charges with a 12 year-old child.

Capt. Andy Locklair, spokesman for the Darlington County Sheriff's Office, said the most recent incident was not reported to authorities until November, at which time an investigation was launched.

Matthew Lee Baur has been charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor, for the 5 year-old victim and remains incarcerated at the Darlington County Detention Center.

Two mothers are outraged, blaming the system for taking to long to bring Baur to trial for the previous offense and possibly allowing him to strike again.

"I was appalled, I cried for a week. I never thought anything like this could happen to my little girl," said the latest victim's mother.

The victim's mother says the incidents happened while her daughter was staying at a babysitter's house.

Investigators with the Darlington County Sheriff's Office say Baur was the babysitter's brother.

When the victim was staying over in September of 2009, Baur allegedly showed up for the night and the reported incidents occurred.

"When she stayed over there I didn't know he was going to be there, nor did I know he had a previous record... and how could I have known," said the victim's mother.

She said after that day she noticed major changes with her daughter's behavior.

"She is bed wetting everyday, had stomach and headaches and has nightmares of the accused killing her for telling," she said.

And years later, her daughter finally told someone about the incident.

When Baur was arrested in November, she found out he was awaiting trial for similar charges against a 12 year-old.

Investigators with the Darlington County Sheriff's Office say that incident allegedly happened in July 2009 - just months earlier.

"This case is a repeat, my daughter shouldn't have been a repeat, people should know that this has happened and what he has done," said the victim's mother.

In 2009, Baur was arrested for the previous case and released on $20,000 bond and he is currently being held at the Darlington County Detention Center on $20,000 bond for the latest charges.

Families of both victims say that is not enough for a repeat-offender.

"I just want justice for my daughter, that's all I want," said the victim's mother.

Baur is still awaiting trial for the previous charges from two years ago. Sheriff Byrd said the court system is backed up and he may not get a trial until January or even later.

He says the previous charges may not have been on Baur's record because he was not convicted for the charges at the time. Without a trial, offenses against him may not be listed on his record, just that he was arrested.

Baur's latest offenses are listed on the Darlington County Detention Center's website for public view.

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