A jury convicted a man on Thursday at the Greenwood County Courthouse of molesting an young girl multiple times between 2006 and 2008.
The jury deliberated for less than two hours after hearing the case against 57-year-old William Donald Bolt and returned a guilty verdict at about 2 p.m. on Thursday. Bolt was found guilty of committing a lewd act on a child and second degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. Assistant solicitor Lance Sheek, who prosecuted the case for the state, asked Circuit Court Judge Donald B. Hocker to give Bolt the maximum 35 year sentence. Judge Hocker sentenced Bolt to 13 years in prison on the criminal sexual conduct with a minor charge and eight years in prison on the charge of committing a lewd act on a child. The sentences will run concurrently.
Public defender Janna Nelson defended Bolt during the trial. Nelson contended that Bolt signed a confession because he wanted to go home and investigators threatened to raise his bond if he did not sign the confession. Bolt volunteered to take a polygraph during the investigation, which he failed. Nelson told the jury that the polygraph machine was a “dinosaur” and Bolt did not understand that polygraph machines are not accurate instruments when it comes to determining whether or not a person is being truthful. Nelson also told the jury that Bolt suffered from erectile dysfunction and therefore could not become aroused.
Police records indicate that the abuse began in June 2006 when the victim was just 11 years old. Bolt molested the girl in a variety of ways up until the girl came forward about the abuse in Oct. 2008. Sheek painted Bolt as a sexual predator that did not think like most people during his closing argument. Sheek told the jury that he normally asks a jury to use logic when deliberating a case, but this case was different.
“Logic does not apply to people like (Bolt),” Sheek told the jury. “Any person that would go into a girl’s bedroom and (commit such an act) does not think like a normal person. They think like a sexual predator.”
Eighth Circuit Solicitor David Stumbo credited the work of Sheek, fellow assistant solicitor Christopher “Cam” Morrow and solicitor’s office investigator Windy Chappell in securing Bolt’s conviction. Stumbo also praised the work of the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office, particularly investigator Brandon Strickland, during the investigation.
“Hopefully, the message is coming through loud and clear to predators who would harm our children that the abuse of a child in any way, shape, or form will not be tolerated,” Stumbo said following the sentencing. “Our priority throughout this case has been to seek and secure justice for this young victim and I am proud of the work that Lance (Sheek) and Cam (Morrow) did in presenting this heart-wrenching case to the jury. Another child predator has been taken off of the streets.”