Judge grants bond for man facing child sex abuse charges

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 6:08 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Bond has been set at $250,000 for a man accused of sexually abusing his adopted daughter after his attorney argued there’s not enough evidence to keep him behind bars.

Harry O’Neal is facing 11 charges related to the abuse including: criminal sexual conduct with minor, lewd act, criminal sexual conduct first degree, engaging child for sexual performance, direct sexual performance by child, trafficking in person under 18, incest, buggery, minor sexual exploitation of a first degree, criminal sexual conduct with minor.

O’Neal, along with his wife Andrea, were both arrested in March 2022.

Greenville County deputies began investigating the couple after their now-adult adopted daughter, Claire Mann, came forward with her story in January 2022 reporting that the couple abused her for seven years as she was growing up.

Judge Edward Miller was the third judge to hear O’Neal’s request for bond. He granted it after defense attorney Frank Eppes told the court the first judge denied bond based on the belief video evidence of the crimes was going to be uncovered. Eppes said no videos have been found and the solicitor confirmed it.

“I think our constitution says he’s entitled to a bond so I’m going to set him a bond,” Miller said.

In addition to the $250,000 bond, O’Neal would be placed on house arrest and would not be allowed to have contact with minors.

Before the judge came to his decision, Mann read a victim impact statement asking for O’Neal to be kept behind bars.

“Having felt the evil he is capable of, experiencing the pain he has inflicted and walking in that fear for so long -- I would respectfully ask you to deny his bond,” Mann said.

As of publishing, O’Neal has not posted bail.

You can read Mann’s entire statement below: