A Joanna man was sentenced to 25 years in prison without parole Tuesday for sexually abusing two girls under the age of 12.
Tito Olan Marin, 42, entered guilty pleas Tuesday afternoon at the Laurens County Hillcrest Judicial Complex after his case was called to trial by the state, on two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor.
Circuit Judge Frank Addy Jr. then sentenced Marin to 25 years in prison on each of the charges, with the sentences to run concurrently. Under South Carolina law, the sentence will be classified as a violent, “no-parole” offense and will require Marin to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
In March 2017, a fourth-grade student was learning about “good touches and bad touches” and was observed to be weeping during some of the presentation. A teacher asked if she needed to talk and the student disclosed an assault at the hands of Marin in 2014. The school notified Department of Social Services, who then notified Laurens County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators began interviewing other family members of the victim. A cousin of the victim, without being told anything about the incident with the victim, told investigators Marin had raped her a number of years before, when she was 10 years old.
Both victims said Marin would put a pillow over their face and told them that their parents would not love them anymore if they told anyone what happened.
Deputy Solicitor Dale Scott handled the case for the state, with assistance from 8th Circuit Investigator Walter Bentley and Victim Advocate Rhetta Christian. Marin was represented by Anjelica Hernandez of the Greenville County Bar.
Eighth Circuit Solicitor David Stumbo praised the work of his staff, along with Det. Jared Hunnicutt of the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office, in securing the conviction and lengthy prison sentence.
“Our society simply does not have any place for monsters like Tito Marin who prey on children to satisfy their own selfish desires,” Stumbo said. “While I wish my office never had to prosecute a single case like this, it provides some measure of reassurance that this sexual predator is now off the streets for many years to come.”