SC high school coach charged in sex abuse case

Associated Press

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - Authorities say a coach at a Chesterfield County high school sexually abused two middle school students in Oconee County more than a decade ago.

Investigators say 39-year-old Richard Gardner III is charged with 11 counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor and 13 counts of lewd act on a minor.

Authorities say the allegations involve two victims who were between the ages of 12 and 14 when they were abused from 1998 to 2003 while Gardner worked in Oconee County.

Investigators say Gardner was working at Pageland Central High School when he was arrested Thursday. They say there may be more victims.

Gardner is being held at the Oconee County jail on a $730,000 bail. It wasn't clear if he had a lawyer.

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