36-year-old Jonathan Brannan of the Landings Run neighborhood in Mount Pleasant was incarcerated January 6th on eleven counts of Third Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, posting an initial bond amount of $110,000. Within 24 hours, Mr. Brannan was released on personal recognizance bond on all charges by Magistrate Priscilla B. Baldwin of the Centralized Bond Hearing Court located on Leeds Avenue in North Charleston.
Third Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor is a serious offense in South Carolina, carrying with it hefty penalties and high conviction rates. According to South Carolina Code 16-15-410 -- "(A) An individual commits the offense of third degree sexual exploitation of a minor if, knowing the character or content of the material, he possesses material that contains a visual representation of a minor engaging in sexual activity or appearing in a state of sexually explicit nudity when a reasonable person would infer the purpose is sexual stimulation."
In accordance with legal text above, Mr. Brannan allegedly possessed child pornography for the purpose of sexual stimulation -- not to account for one charge -- but eleven in total. And this presents another dilemma: What are we to do with our court system in the Palmetto State? It is evident that Judge Baldwin was either blindfolded upon being presented with key case details, or she was simply abiding by preliminary instructions provided by the Charleston Criminal Justice Coordinating Council's Pretrial Services Report -- a compilation of an individual's financial information and an 'objective' assessment of flight risk -- to determine if a PR bond is appropriate.
During Spring 2018, one of our keynote authors wrote Charleston Jail Watch's first article with a similar premise on a man arrested for one count of Criminal Sexual Misconduct with a Minor eleven-fourteen years old 1st Degree. His name is Robert Conway-Price, and he was released on PR by Judge Baldwin following the events of his March arrest.
Soon after this publication, we discovered that Tron Y. Grant -- an Ashley Ridge High School girl's basketball coach at the time -- was alleged by a former fifteen year-old female Baptist Hill student to have taken advantage of her in a "state of vulnerability" by having sexual relations with her on two occasions while a student concerns specialist at the school. Adding to a pattern, Grant was released on PR by Judge Baldwin.
As we provide our audience with a slice of a larger pool of alleged and convicted sexual abusers, one judge seemingly bears a significant portion of blame for what has taken place in Charleston over the last four years in Bail Reform's acquisition of power. Noting this, we can take a step back to observe the puppet-master behind all of it -- the CJCC. This group contains nothing short of flawed messaging, exclusive targeting and failures to adequately listen to the measures of concerns by diverse groups of people. It never fails to see their grasp of society crumble in its destitute -- as a plurality of its members live in expensive homes (the Solicitor's residence is valued at $700,000), far removed from an inch of criminal activity. But, they are the educated of our world that protect us from the evils of universal fact.