NEWS

Man charged with criminal sexual conduct with Pelion Middle School student

A West Columbia man is accused of sexual conduct with a Pelion Middle School student in a restroom at the school.

Juston Deon Smith, 21, is charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor, according to an arrest warrant.

“We take this very seriously,” Pelion Middle School Principal Kailanya Brailey said. “It is unacceptable for anyone to come into our school and hurt a child entrusted to our care. The fact that this is an ongoing police investigation limits what we can say about it at this time. However, I must say that our school has some of the best teachers and employees you will find anywhere. This individual is not one of our employees and does not represent who we are.”

Juston Deon Smith

“Smith, who was a contract temporary employee of a janitorial service provider, had a sexual encounter with a female student Monday,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said. “A school employee found Smith and the student in a restroom.”

The Lexington One School District said in a statement: On Monday, May 24, 2021, a female student made allegations against an individual working at Pelion Middle School as a temporary employee for two days and employed by a janitorial service provider.”

Major crimes detectives responded to the school and separately interviewed Smith, the victim and a witness, according to Koon. Investigators also collected video evidence related to the case.

Deputies arrested Smith at the school Monday and transported him to the Lexington County Detention Center, where he’s still being held after appearing in bond court Tuesday morning.