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South Carolina lawmaker facing multiple charges

FILE - South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson

A South Carolina lawmaker has been charged with giving alcohol to a teenage girl and using his position to try to influence a Social Services investigation.

State Rep. Rick Martin was indicted Friday by a Newberry County Grand Jury on charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and misconduct in office, according to state Attorney General Alan Wilson.

In January 2019, Martin allegedly gave alcohol to a then-15-year-old girl. About a year later, prosecutors allege, he attempted to use his position as a state lawmaker to influence an investigation at the Department of Social Services.

Authorities did not say if the two charges were related. According to his bio on the Legislature's website, Martin has four children and has been a foster parent since 2010.

Martin is set to appear in court on Tuesday. Court documents did not list an attorney, and he did not respond to a message left on his cellphone Friday.

The Republican has served in the state House since 2017, representing Newberry. House Speaker Jay Lucas suspended Martin minutes after the charges were announced, a move that will stay in effect until either he's cleared and reinstated, or the seat is declared vacant.


Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP.