Deputies: 62-year-old man arrested, accused of molesting children

by: Jenna Deery Updated:

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LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. - Lancaster County deputies have arrested a 62-year-old man accused of molesting multiple children in Lancaster on several occasions.

A close family friend talked to Channel 9 Sunday night. He said he knew about the alleged abuse involving Dennis Rutledge and young children for years and even went to authorities several times with the children's family member to report it, but it wasn't until New Year's Eve that deputies made an arrest.

"Didn't nobody want to hear it. Everybody acted like he was doing nothing wrong," the man said. Channel 9 is protecting his identity to protect the identity of the children involved.

Rutledge is accused of exposing himself and molesting children under the age of 12 on several occasions. He faces five counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor first-degree, two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor third-degree, and one count of exposure of private parts in a lewd and lascivious manner.

Investigators haven't said how Rutledge knows the accusers, how many there are or where the alleged abuse happened.

The family friend claims they all know each other through church and being neighbors, making that relationship that much harder for anyone to believe the allegations.

"They said no he's not like that. He's just weird, but that wasn't the case and we knew that wasn't the case," he said.

Bond has been denied for Rutledge. The case remains under investigation.