Sex offender pleads guilty, gets house arrest instead of jail

By: Kate Tillotson Email
By: Kate Tillotson Email

March 21, 2007

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.---A convicted sex offender is home, not in jail, after pleading guilty to assaulting a teenage boy three years ago.

43-year-old Richard Grey Mayson, Jr. has already served nine years in prison for molesting ten children in Greenville County.

Some wonder why he's on house arrest and not behind bars.

Prosecutors say had they gone to trial, there would have been lots of this was the second best thing.

Richard Mayson has pled guilty to sexually assaulting a teenage boy, but he's not in jail. He's sleeping in his own bed and waking up to a lakefront view.

"Frustrated is probably the difficulty we sense as a prosecution," said Aiken solicitor Barbara Morgan. "We want to protect the public."

Morgan says she was stuck in this case.

"The law restricts a lot of what we could put in front of a jury if we went to trial," she said.

Those restrictions are due to two changes in state law.

She says Mayson could have used the mistake of age as a defense, meaning he could claim he was told the boy was eighteen and could therefore act accordingly.

The other restriction is related to his prior convictions. Morgan would not have been able to use his criminal past against him.

Mayson's punishment for pleading guilty to sexual assault is five years of house arrest. He also must wear a tracking device, and he cannot be around anyone under the age of 17.

Under those terms, Richard Mayson is restricted to Woldus Road in North Augusta, where he lives with family members nearby in a cozy and isolated home on Sudlow Lake. He has few neighbors and few people who wanted to talk to us about this. We also learned we're not welcome on his property.

So behind trees and no trespassing signs, Mayson will carry out his five year Morgan says was the best she could ask for.

"Putting Mr. Mayson under stringent conditions as the judge did would be better than having him with no restrictions whatsoever," Morgan said.

Morgan also says she wanted to avoid going to trial because of the victim involved. She says he's been through a lot already, including rehabilitation, and that she didn't want to embarrass or traumatize him any further.

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