AUGUSTA Ga.---It's a bizarre case involving an unusual character. One that stretches back some 30 or 40 years.
Ed Meloan, the host of Shock Theater on Channel 12 starting in the late 60's, is accused of a sex crime involving a child. Now -- in an interview only on 12, Meloan's lawyer talks about the case, the attempted suicide and what happens next.
Shock theater was a fixture on these airwaves, entertaining kids with a caped character in a coffin who introduced horror films. Now we're learning what went on behind the scenes... was really scary stuff... resulting in serious charges.
How serious are they? Meloan's attorney, Victor Hawk says they are "very serious... he could get substantial time in jail."
"Based on the initial investigation, and Mr. Meloan's cooperation, we do not, we can not say this is unfair prosecution... at all " according to Hawk.
In fact- the biggest question now is how many more potential victims will come forward.
Hawk tells News 12, "We had some information that there have been a significant number step forward- as to exactly how many, I don't know--- I really don't."
Facing this kind of horror story from the distant past was apparently too much for Meloan--- who served for years on North Augusta's Planning Commission. A police report says he tried to end his life with an overdose of pills.
"I'm glad they were able to save him," Hawk says, "and I'm glad he's getting better--- but its a slow process. Physically he is very ill, psychologically he is very ill and he'll be in the hospital through Friday, maybe longer."
And Hawk says his client continues to meet with sled investigators... answering all their questions.
Mr. Meloan is cooperating with the investigation. He's accepting responsibility for his conduct."
Will that mean a guilty plea in the case?
Hawk told us "You can certainly make that inference based on his accepting responsibility for his conduct--- this is not gonna be a trial."
In exchange for information... this attorney is hoping for a lighter sentence for a 74 year old man he says is in poor health. Hawk says a 5 year sentence in this case would be a death penalty.
And so for now... Ed Meloan remains in the psychiatric ward of The Medical College of Georgia, undergoing treatment and meeting with investigators. SLED is still encouraging other possible victims to come forward. They have set up a phone number and a website for anyone with any information. That number is (803) 642-2076 and the email sled-investigation at sled-dot-sc-dot-gov.