Michael Thomas Dyer, 48, has received the maximum sentence for two counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor – First Degree. He was sentenced after a trial for the ongoing sexual abuse of a child under the age of eleven.
Eleventh Circuit Chief Administrative Judge Walton J. McLeod IV, imposed two Life sentences on the Criminal Sexual Conduct charges, and an additional 50 years for the charges of Dissemination of Harmful Material to a Minor and eight counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor – First Degree.
Under South Carolina law, Dyer is not eligible for parole. The trial began on Monday, and concluded late Thursday afternoon when the jury returned guilty verdicts on all 11 charges.
Eleventh Circuit Solicitor Rick Hubbard stated, “Our work to protect children in our community requires a high level of commitment from our prosecutors, staff, and law enforcement.” Hubbard further commented, “The young victim in this case demonstrated tremendous bravery in the courtroom, and this sentence helps give her the justice and closure that she deserves.”
The South Congaree Police Department began an investigation on June 17, 2020, when they received a report of sexual abuse by Dyer committed against a 9-year-old in Lexington County.
During the course of the investigation, detectives recovered Dyer’s smart phone and a search warrant was obtained for forensic analysis of the device. Detective Mike Phipps, a digital crimes specialist with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, provided expert testimony regarding additional evidence obtained from the forensic extraction of Dyer’s cell phone.
The victim testified during the trial regarding the sexual assaults and Dyer’s manipulative actions to keep her silence. During the sentencing hearing, Judge McLeod addressed the overall impact of Dyer’s crimes.
“The evidence showed a series of coercive conduct, threatening at times, and taking advantage of a position of trust with achild.” Before sentencing Dyer, Judge McLeod stated, “it is difficult to fathom how a person could do this,” and then imposed the maximum sentence.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Solicitor Ashley Wellman and Deputy Solicitor Suzanne Mayes of the Eleventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
During the State’s closing argument, Wellman emphasized the months of sexual abuse and psychological torture the victim endured at the hands of Dyer.
Wellman stated, “He didn’t stop, he never would have stopped. It stopped … only when she was brave.” In addition to the South Congaree Police Department and the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, the Dickerson Children’s Advocacy Center provided services in this case to the young victim and an additional child witness.
Wellman stated, “In the midst of a global pandemic, all agencies rose to the occasion to ensure the investigationwas detailed and comprehensive.” Dyer will be transported to the S.C. Department of Corrections to begin immediate service of his sentences.