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Westminster Man Arrested on Multiple Sex Crime Charges Involving Minors

Updated: Mar 29

Joseph Wayne Ellis

(Walhalla, SC)-------------------------------------A Westminster man remains in jail today, on a combined $500,000 surety bond, after his arrest yesterday on multiple sex crime charges that involved two separate victims, who are both minors.


55 year old Joseph Wayne Ellis was booked into the Oconee County Detention Center at around 1:18pm.  Ellis was served arrest warrants charging him with three counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor – 2nd Degree and four counts of Criminal Solicitation of a Minor.


The Sheriff’s Office investigation began on January 30th of this year after a Deputy from the Uniform Patrol Bureau was notified of a reported sexual assault involving one of the victims.  The investigation was turned over to a Violent Crimes Investigator from the Criminal Investigations Bureau. 


Based upon evidence that was gathered during the investigation, Ellis is accused of performing a sexual act on the victim, who was a child at the time, in 2019.  According to an arrest warrant, the victim performed a sex act on Ellis in 2021.  Ellis also inappropriately touched in the victim in 2022, according to an arrest warrant.  The incidents in 2021 and 2022 occurred when the victim was a teenager. 


During the course of the initial investigation, evidence surfaced that Ellis had asked a second victim, a teenager at the time, to engage in sexual activity in March of last year.  Based upon that evidence, the Violent Crimes Investigator obtained arrest warrants against Ellis for Criminal Solicitation of a Minor. 


Ellis will be required to wear an electronic monitoring device, as a condition of bond, should he be released from jail.


The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office is continuing its investigation.  In order to preserve the integrity of the investigation, and that of the victims who are minors, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office will not release any information that could, either directly or indirectly, identify the victims in this investigation. 

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