HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A Carolina Forest dance instructor allegedly had a sexual relationship with an underage boy in 2016, prompting his arrest on Friday, according to authorities.
Online records from the J. Reuben Long Detention Center state 47-year-old Richard Bryan Beaman was booked Friday on counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor and unlawful neglect of a child or helpless person by a legal custodian.
“It’s hard to believe somebody you’re so close to and you think you know... we’re devastated," began Alan Hoover, a parent of a child who studies under Beaman at the Carolina Forest Performing Arts Academy.
Beaman was released Saturday afternoon on a $10,000 bond, jail records state.
An incident report from the Horry County Police Department states an officer went to an area high school on May 13 after the 18-year-old victim said he had a sexual relationship with the suspect in 2016.
“I don’t personally believe it, just knowing the man, being around him at the studio. He’s my son’s mentor," Hoover said.
The Hoover’s said they relocated from Virginia to Myrtle Beach specifically for their son to train under Beaman’s tutelage.
The dates listed on the police report are Sept. 30, 2016 and Oct. 2, 2016, when the alleged victim would have been underage. The criminal sexual misconduct reportedly happened in the Carolina Forest area.
“He’s concerned about his business and his reputation,” said Greg McCollum, Beaman’s attorney. “Fortunately there have been a lot of people that have come out and supported him."
Online records initially stated this was Beaman’s second criminal sexual conduct offense, with the first occurring before June 1, 2005, as WMBF News previously reported. However, a spokesperson for the Horry County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Monday the charge was entered incorrectly and it was the suspect’s first offense. The proper charge is second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor under 16, according to the HCSO.
A State Law Enforcement Division background check shows that this is Beaman’s first offense in South Carolina.
Beaman’s attorney, Greg McCollum, was adamant that there was an error when his client’s booking information was entered.
Jail director Tom Fox said this is Beaman’s first time being booked at J. Reuben Long.
“You’re innocent until proven guilty in this country and we’re believing Bryan, we love Bryan, and we’re sticking with him no matter what," the Hoovers said.