A Mount Pleasant man faces up to 35 years in prison after being convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage girl.
Erick Alberto Arroyo was found guilty Friday after a weeklong trial on two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and two counts of committing lewd acts on a child, according to Solicitor Scarlett Wilson.
It took a jury just 3 1/2 hours to reach its verdict.
Arroyo, 54, an engineer and a retired U.S. Navy officer, will be sentenced after undergoing a psychiatric evaluation. Judge J.C. Nicholson waited to sentence the man until a psychiatric evaluation can determine if he's a sexual predator.
The charges against Arroyo date back to 2009 when the mother of a 13-year-old girl caught the man on top of the victim. The young girl told authorities Arroyo had been assaulting her for more than a year, Wilson said. Arroyo and the victim are related, but prosecutors didn't detail the nature of the family relationship.
The child, now 16, testified in court that the defendant told her he wanted to teach her about sex so that she would not have to experiment with boys. The abuse progressed from fondling to intercourse, prosecutors alleged.
“This victim had a lot to lose by coming forward," said Assistant Solicitor Elizabeth Gordon, who prosecuted the case. "Many of her family members turned their backs on her when she was finally able to tell of the abuse she endured at the hands of a family member."