SC Law Blog

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

When Cases Become Personal - Brittanee Drexel

Brittanee Drexel, was a young teen here on spring break and disappeared in Myrtle Beach a number of years ago.  There has been a great effort to find information about her disappearance and her family routinely travels here to raise awareness about her disappearance at least once a year.  In fact, over the holidays, a local ad agency donated one of their billboards to the cause.  

No one has ever been charged in her disappearance but the authorities are treating her case as a homocide.  There have, however, been people of interest in the case.  Today, I came across an article my paralegal was reading on the internet about her disappearance.  You can read the article here.  What was different about this article for me?  Well, it made some personal connections.  I was an assistant solicitor in Georgetown County for a very short period.  While down there I had a case with a sex offender.  This man had picked a child off of a playground and raped her in California.  He had served his time equivalent to life in California and had been released.  Apparently, life did not mean life of a human being.  Nevertheless, this individual had moved to SC and had re-offended by exposing himself to another male in a gas station bathroom.  He got knocked out for it and then arrested.  This is why I had the case.  We were prosecuting him under the SC Sexually Violent Predator Act which puts a individual who has served his/her time for a conviction of a sexual offense before a panel of indivduals who determine if that person is sexually violent.  If so deemed, that individual is basically locked away for the rest of their life.  The statute basically allows us as a society to separate those individuals with sexually violent tendencies such as pedofilia apart from the general population.

How does this connect to the Brittanee Drexel case?  Well, I left the solicitor's office in early 2008 before the case was dealt with and don't know how that case turned out but lets put it this way...I tend to remember certain names.  I have not verified this information nor do I want to.  I am not even sure if these are the same indivdual, but if the person of interest fits these facts, they were one and the same person.  I must add my disclaimer so please note that no one has been arrested for this disappearance and everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.  Nevertheless, I can't help but think "what if".  

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