Grand Strand Crime

Surfside Beach man convicted, sentenced for sexual assault of 8-year-old

A Surfside Beach man has been sentenced after he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl.

The girl's mother found out about the assaults when she found a diary entry by the girl that stated the suspect tried to have sex with her. According to the press release from the Fifteenth Circuit Solicitor's Office, a forensic interview of the young girl "revealed detailed accounts of sexual contact she had with Neilson."

Joshua Neilson, 21, pleaded guilty to second degree criminal sexual conduct and was sentenced to 15 years in prison and 5 years of probation on March 29.

When investigators searched the suspect’s phone, they found explicit notes to the 8-year-old.  

“The phone also contained a search history for a global age of consent map, the age of consent in Mexico, searches about reporting rape, sentencing guidelines in South Carolina, and quality of South Carolina prisons. Phone searches were also found asking if kids would lie about being molested, what to do if your child has been molested, and how long DNA would stay in a woman," the press release states. 


After Neilson was arrested, he admitted to the acts and said he loved the victim and "thought about the two of them being involved in a relationship."

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