Report states former Horry County firefighter had improper relationship with student prior to arrest

Report states former Horry County firefighter had improper relationship with student prior to arrest

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – An Horry County Fire Rescue disciplinary report states a former firefighter was "improperly engaged in a relationship with a high school student," which ultimately led to his arrest and subsequent firing.

Matthew James Oswald, 31, of Conway, was arrested Jan. 17 and charged with sexual battery of a student. Online records from the J. Reuben Long Detention Center state he was released the next day on a $10,000 bond.

The HCFR disciplinary report, dated Jan. 18 and obtained through a WMBF News Freedom of Information Act request, states the alleged relationship happened while Oswald assisted with an academic program at the Academy for Technology and Academics in Conway.

The alleged 17-year-old victim told police that between September and October 2017, a sexual incident took place on McCall Loop in the Conway area, according to an incident report.

A review of personnel reports from HCFR show Oswald had a mixed history while an employee with the department.

In May 2012, Oswald and another firefighter failed to tell their supervisor or any other crew members about a walk-up patient who came to the station, according to a disciplinary report. The supervisor did not know where the crew was for over an hour.

Then, in July 2012, Oswald reportedly failed to put used needles in an approved container after giving medication, a disciplinary report stated. Also, a suction unit was not returned to service and vomit was left in it from the call.

Another July 2012 HCFR disciplinary report stated Oswald lost a lock and was unable to secure a drug compartment. All the narcotics were said to have been accounted for.

There were no further disciplinary reports for Oswald between July 2012 and the one from Jan. 18.

His most recent performance evaluation for the period beginning July 1, 2016 and ending June 30, 2017 stated he met or exceeded expectations.

"He presents himself in a professional manner when teaching classes to our recruits. He remains professional and performs well under pressure," the evaluation stated.

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