Richland 2 school district employee charged with sexually assaulting children

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Columbia Police Department charged on Wednesday a Richland School District 2 employee with sexually assaulting two girls.

Officers charged 64-year-old John Meredith Jennings with first and third degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. He turned himself into the department, police said.

The assaults happened between 2014 and 2017, according to police. The allegations were first reported to officers in March. The department’s Special Victims Unit investigated.

Investigators said one victim was between 6 and 9 years old and the other was between 10 and 13 years old. Jennings sexually assaulted the younger victim and inappropriately touch the older victim, police said.

Officers booked Jennings at Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center where he remained Thursday evening awaiting a bond hearing.

Police did not specify what school Jennings worked at in their initial statement or if the assaults happened in a school.

First degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor is punishable with up to 30 years in prison.