HAMPTON CO, S.C. (WTOC) -An Estill man was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday after he was found guilty of the rape of a 10-year-old girl that he impregnated.
Tony Orlanda Singleton was found guilty of first-degree criminal sexual assault of a minor under the age of 11. A jury deliberated for 51 minutes before sentencing Singleton to life in prison.
The case unfolded in April of 2016, when the victim told a forensic interviewer that a man who knew her mother came into her bedroom while she was watching television. He turned off the television and lights, and forced her into having sex with him. The young girl’s story came out after her mother took her to a doctor to have her pregnancy terminated. A DNA sample taken from the fetus and analyzed by the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division found Singleton to be the father of the unborn child.
“This girl should be getting ready to go back to school, making friends, braiding her hair – things other girls her age typically are engaged in,” said prosecutor Hunter Swanson of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, who called 10 witnesses during the two-day trial. “Instead, she’s in a courtroom, reliving a horrific ordeal. Tony Singleton is to blame for that. This man was someone she trusted, someone who lurked inside her home, someone who changed the fabric of his victim’s life forever.”
Singleton had previous convictions for traffic and drug offenses.