UPDATE: State, defense rest in trial for man facing 28 child sex abuse charges

By: Chad Mills Email
By: Chad Mills Email
Harold Cartwright III (WRDW-TV)

Harold Cartwright III (WRDW-TV)

Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. -- The trial continued for an alleged serial child molester at the Aiken County courthouse on Wednesday.

Both the state and the defense rested their cases in the trial of Harold Cartwright III. Cartwright got the chance to speak up as well.

He's facing 28 indictments, including criminal sexual conduct and lewd acts to children under 16 years old. He's accused of molesting three young girls in North Augusta -- one was only 4 years old at the time.

On Tuesday, the three girls testified and claimed they were victims of graphic sexual acts. On Wednesday, the state called in an investigator, a SLED agent and a couple expert witnesses.

Cartwright took the stand after the state rested. He says he found the girls on a porn website and almost got them in trouble with the law, which is why they accused him of molestation.

Cartwright was so mad about the allegations that he even contacted News 12 back in early 2011 before his arrest. He didn't want to give his name or show his face at the time, but he wanted to speak out about how other kids could be doing this.

He was arrested just a few weeks after News 12 interviewed him. The victims, and other witnesses for the state, say the girls in the pictures were not victims of Cartwright.

Ultimately, the state is relying on physical DNA evidence. The state compared DNA found in one of the victim's beds to Cartwright's DNA and found a match -- and this DNA didn't come from saliva, sweat or tears ... but another bodily fluid.

"The probability of selecting an unrelated individual having the DNA profile matching this item, talking about item number 2.1, the cutting from the sheet, is approximately 1 in 16,000,000,000,000," said Lilly Gallman, a forensic DNA analyst for SLED.

The trial will resume at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. The jury will be charged with rendering a verdict.

To see News 12's coverage from the first day of the trial, click here.

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