Gloverville man pleads guilty to multiple crimes in Aiken County, gets 10 years
A Gloverville man pleaded guilty last week to having a sexual relationship with a juvenile, possessing a stolen truck and impersonating a police officer in January.
James Ronald Lower Jr., 35, pleaded guilty on Sept. 21 to first-degree assault and battery, receiving stolen goods, valued between $2,000 and $10,000, unlawful carrying of a pistol and impersonating a police officer, according to court documents.
Lower was originally charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor and third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, but in accordance with his guilty plea – one charge was dropped and the third-degree criminal sexual conduct with minor charge was changed to first-degree assault and battery, solicitors said.
Eleventh Judicial Circuit Judge William P. Keesley sentenced Lower to 10 years in prison, followed by a consecutive sentence of 10 years suspended to five years probation.
On Jan. 17, officers with the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office responded to the El Cheapo gas station on Ascauga Lake Road in Graniteville in reference to a stolen Ford F-150, solicitors said.
The defendant was identified by the gas station clerk and a juvenile passenger as the driver of the vehicle, police reported.
Deputies also searched Lower and found a .25 caliber handgun inside the stolen vehicle.
Lower was taken into custody and he admitted to investigators he had been having a sexual relationship with the juvenile passenger, solicitors said.
Additionally, investigators obtained phone calls and other evidence establishing Lower had been calling different people, posing as a deputy from the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.
In those phone calls, Lower threatened to arrest the victims unless they sent him money, according to the report.
Lower was arrested and taken to the Aiken County detention center, where he remained until his hearing on Sept. 21.
Solicitors also said Lower was on probation for second-degree burglary at the time of his arrest. He was sentenced to serve three additional years in prison on his probation case consecutive to his other sentences, records show.
Assistant Solicitor Ashley Hammack prosecuted this case.