Suspect arrested in connection with sexual assault
The man accused of attacking and sexually assaulting a teenage girl as she was jogging on the Sawbranch Trail last week will stay in jail.
Judge Anthony Lemon denied bond on all charges for Michael Glen Evans, who appeared, via closed circuit television, for a bond hearing Tuesday morning held in the Summerville Magistrate Court. Evans remains housed in the Dorchester County Detention Center. He may go before a circuit court judge for a bond hearing at a later date.
Police arrested Evans, 20, of Summerville on Monday and charged him with first degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, and possession of a weapon during a violent crime, according to Capt. Jon Rogers of the Summerville Police Department.
Before making his decision, Judge Lemon heard statements from the victim’s parents as well as a recommendation from police investigators to deny bond.
Through tears, the victim’s mother read her statement to the judge, describing her daughter’s intense fear and torment after the attack.
“Our baby has suffered enough, she did nothing wrong, she asked her father’s permission to exercise on a paved path designed for that intent, at lunchtime in broad daylight,” she said. “This was not a dark alley, don’t put yourself in an unsafe position situation – this man was so brazen, he hunted in a place our community allows their children to play.”
The victim’s father also spoke, saying he could not bring himself to hate Evans, but he does hate what Evans did and the decision Evans made to leave his home armed and with the intent to hunt and denigrate someone, not a chosen victim but a random stranger. He also noted that the incident could very well have escalated into something even worse, possibly murder.
“Our daughter is an amazing person – she works two jobs while she goes to college, she studies Japanese for fun, she is well loved and she is sympathetic and empathetic to a fault,” he said. “She was not chosen – she just happened by. This could have been anyone’s child.”
The incident occurred at about 1:45 p.m. Jan. 9 on the Sawbranch Trail near the SCE&G power station near Bacons Bridge Road.
According to a Summerville Police Department incident report, witnesses called 911 to report seeing a young white female running along the Sawbranch Trail naked, screaming, with blood running down her face.
Officers responding to the call were directed to the victim’s home, where they were able to speak to her.
The victim told the officers that she was running on the trail when the suspect rode up to her on a bicycle. She said as rode past her, he smacked her buttocks. She said that this incident upset her but she kept running.
However, the suspect reappeared and this time rammed her with his bike, then jumped off, ordered her to shut up, punched her several times in the face, then pulled a knife and tried to push her to the ground before dragging her into the woods and assaulting her, according to the report.
According to the report, the victim stated that a few minutes later a passerby appeared at the edge of the woods and asked if everything was all right. The suspect responded by yelling that he was with his girlfriend and they were trying to have sex.
It was at this point that the victim started screaming for help, causing the suspect to flee the area on his bike. The victim then ran to her car, drove to her home and told her father what had happened.
The victim said she runs the trail often and did not recognize her attacker.
The investigation continues.