Mother of alleged rape victim pleas alleged rapist be put behind - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Mother of alleged rape victim pleas alleged rapist be put behind bars until set trial date

Michael Jeremy Hardwick (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center Michael Jeremy Hardwick (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Mother of an alleged rape victim questions why the alleged suspect is currently out on bond, with an ankle bracelet, instead of behind bars after the suspect receives second charge relating to her daughter.

Amy Waller can't help but feel betrayed by a family friend. A friend who allegedly formed a relationship with her now 15-year-old daughter that she says all started when her daughter was just 13-years-old.

In an arrest warrant from the Horry County Police Department, dated April 1st, now 38 year old Michael Jeremy Hardwick was arrested for criminal sexual conduct with a minor in the third degree and attempting or committing a lewd act with a minor under 16-years-old. Just over a month later, on May 3rd, this warrant, also from the Horry County Police Department, states Hardwick helped the 15-year-old run away from home. His charges, contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The warrant goes into detail on how he has a currently active case involving sexual assault on the runaway.

Now, Hardwick is out on bond, and does have an ankle bracelet on, but the alleged victim's mother, Amy Waller, feels he should be behind bars instead.

"After having the first charge against him, involving her, the second charge comes up, it should have been a complete revocation of the first bond, and that's where he should be at, we shouldn't be continuously being harassed, she shouldn't still be in fear of what might happen," Waller said.

Solicitor Jimmy Richardson spoke about bond conditions for repeat offenders.


"The bond could be revoked, and a new bond set, or no bond set,"


Amy Waller attended a bond revocation hearing for the alleged suspect and ex-family friend, Michael Hardwick, just a couple of weeks ago.

"It was initially a $10,000 bond, and they changed it to a $75,000 bond. Which he was out the same day," Waller said.

"Judges at any time, have to consider two things, and only two, that is the risk of flight, is this defendant going to leave and we can't find him anymore, and also they have to consider, are they a danger to the community," Richardson explained.

Which Waller believes, Hardwick is.

"The whole purpose of the hearing was to protect my daughter and I don't feel like we accomplished any of that," Waller explained.

Richardson says bond is only taken off the table under certain circumstances. When it's related to murder, or if the person re-offends with another violent crime. In other words, because Hardwick's second charge, though related to the same victim, was NOT violent, bond could be set, something that will never sit well with Waller, and her family.

"So without him being behind bars, without access to get to someone to get to her, there's a huge fear," Waller explained.

"If they make any contact by letter, by message, by phone or if he sends someone else, to make contact on his behalf, all of that is a violation of his order," Richardson said.

Richardson urges any victim in a case where their offender is out on bond, to report contact in any form right away and says judges will notice the pattern, and it could result in the offender being behind bars until a trial date is set.

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