Crime & Courts

Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

Minister sentenced to prison term for child molestation

Thursday, March 13, 2014 6:17 PM
Last updated 8:27 PM
  • Follow Crime & courts

An ordained minister convicted of child molestation earlier this year was sentenced Thursday to serve 12 years in prison.

Walter W. Underwood Jr., 60, and his family asked the judge for mercy. Underwood could have faced as much as 40 years in prison.

In January, a Richmond County Superior Court jury convicted Underwood of molesting an 8-year-old girl several years ago. Criminal charges were only recently brought against Underwood when the girl, now a teen, broke her silence. After she came forward a second victim reported she had been similarly victimized by Underwood a decade earlier.

The teen told the jury how she would hide in the bathroom to try to keep away from Underwood when he baby-sat for her family, Assistant District Attorney Melissa Marks said Thursday. One count of child molestation was for what the victim described as attempted rape, and the second was for one of the multiple times that Underwood touched and kissed her inappropriately.

Underwood’s family members told the judge that he was a good man, good father and beloved grandfather. They expressed their concerns Underwood wouldn’t be able to survive a prison term.

Defense attorney Clayton Jolly asked Judge J. David Roper to consider all the good Underwood had done in his life and his serious health problems.

Underwood coached a girls softball team and took children to camp. He taught Sunday school for years before becoming ordained in 2008, Jolly told the jury in January.

On behalf of the teen, her mother told Roper she wasn’t asking for the maximum or conceding to the minimum sentence possible. She only wanted justice, she said.

“(Underwood) robbed her of her childhood and her innocence,” she said.

Comments (17) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
corgimom
31440
Points
corgimom 03/13/14 - 06:46 pm
8
1
That girl has a lifelong

That girl has a lifelong sentence, 12 years isn't enough.

corgimom
31440
Points
corgimom 03/13/14 - 06:47 pm
8
1
And he wasn't too worried

And he wasn't too worried about his health problems when he was raping that poor little girl, was he?

fedex227
11179
Points
fedex227 03/13/14 - 06:53 pm
8
1
Woefully inadequate.
Unpublished

A shame it wasn't longer.

The Mick
827
Points
The Mick 03/13/14 - 08:18 pm
7
2
You can't rehabilitate

You can't rehabilitate somebody who would rape an 8 year old. I'm all for second chances, but you can't come back from this. But we will have to house this sick pervert for the next 12 years. Well I hope he makes somebody a great boyfriend and gets a small dose of his own medicine.

Dixieman
14415
Points
Dixieman 03/13/14 - 09:05 pm
8
1
Not enough

TWO victims? Repeated attacks on at least one of them? Not nearly enough!

TruthJusticeFaithHope
216
Points
TruthJusticeFaithHope 03/13/14 - 09:18 pm
7
2
When children are sexually

When children are sexually abused by trusted members of our society... it proves how difficult it is to protect children... your children and mine. Consider the children who don't have close supervision... they are very vulnerable to people like this Underwood creep. And, is it just me, or when Clayton Jolly defends the creep with his resume of doing good... taking kids to camp... coaching girls softball... I don't know much, but, I know pedophiles work really hard to be in close proximity to children.

Pops
7766
Points
Pops 03/13/14 - 09:27 pm
9
1
Trust me......60 years old

and "only" two victims....I don't think so.....this waste of skin has many more victims out there...."Underwood coached a girls softball team and took children to camp." He was not doing these things out of the goodness of his heart......should have locked him up for the rest of his life....I'll bet some of his female relatives have a story or two to tell.......

corgimom
31440
Points
corgimom 03/13/14 - 09:53 pm
7
1
His family says that he's a

His family says that he's a good man.

It makes me want to puke.

corgimom
31440
Points
corgimom 03/13/14 - 09:53 pm
5
1
And Pops, you are 100%

And Pops, you are 100% correct.

dichotomy
32125
Points
dichotomy 03/13/14 - 10:55 pm
6
1
"He was not doing these

"He was not doing these things out of the goodness of his heart.."

You got that right Pops.

InChristLove
22468
Points
InChristLove 03/14/14 - 05:11 am
1
9
First let me state, what this

First let me state, what this man did to this child is horrible and definitely should be punished, and I would tend to agree that there are probably more than two victims. Hope not, but probably are, but we need to also stick to the facts. This was not a rape but an attempted rape (which is just as traumatic because the intent was there)

(corgimom) And he wasn't too worried about his health problems when he was raping that poor little girl, was he?

(The Mick) "You can't rehabilitate somebody who would rape an 8 year old"

This was not a repeated rape or even a rape altogether, it was "One count of child molestation was for what the victim described as attempted rape, and the second was for one of the multiple times that Underwood touched and kissed her inappropriately."

jimmymac
36955
Points
jimmymac 03/14/14 - 08:17 am
0
0
SENTENCE
Unpublished

Once again a soft judge has let a child molester off with a light sentence. The penalty for raping a child should be the death penalty. Throw the judge out and take away their sentencing discretion. Put mandatory sentencing in place for certain crimes and enact a three strikes law with life in prison for three or more felonies.

my.voice
4731
Points
my.voice 03/14/14 - 09:47 am
2
0
Thats going to be a long 12

Thats going to be a long 12 years for this pervert. I hope they tattoo his crime on his forehead going in.

Bizkit
30765
Points
Bizkit 03/14/14 - 10:03 am
2
1
Wow Underwood is asking for

Wow Underwood is asking for mercy-probably just like these little girls. My bet he really doesn't believe he has done something wrong and all the good he has done redeems him. Boy is he lost.

Sweet son
10091
Points
Sweet son 03/14/14 - 11:18 am
0
2
Reckon he was 'ordained' as a preacher about the time he was

doing his dirty? Amazing how people become preachers when they have 'sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.' Don't know who said that but it seems to fit.

The Mick
827
Points
The Mick 03/14/14 - 01:16 pm
2
0
ICL, I appreciate you setting

ICL,
I appreciate you setting the facts straight. But I doubt you would be splitting hairs if it were your 8 year old. The point I was trying to make is there are many criminals who can rehabilitate and change their lives. Wether you rape or attempt to rape a child there is no hope for you. And this may be a bit to right wing and old school today, but if a sex act on a child this young was proven conclusively with DNA evidence, I would be ok with just giving the pervert the needle and saving the tax dollars.

InChristLove
22468
Points
InChristLove 03/14/14 - 04:09 pm
0
1
Wish anyone would care to

Wish anyone would care to explain the 8 TD's. Nothing I stated in my comment was in defense of this man, only that he was not charge or convicted of rape which so many seem to have thought.

The Mick, you are absolutely correct, if it was my child It probably wouldn't matter to me but I believe I could handle an attempt more so than the actual rape. Either way would be heart breaking and tend to agree that if proven conclusively I'd not blink an eye if death was the punishment.

My comment was only pointing the fact out what the actual offense was and as stated was in no way defending this criminal.....although from all the TD's receive you would think otherwise.

Sweet son
10091
Points
Sweet son 03/14/14 - 04:52 pm
0
2
Love the TDs! InChristLove, they are just haters! Don't even

give them a thought! Stick to your guns, your comments are 'right on.' As for those who give me the TD keep 'em comin'. Your opinion vs mine and I am right!

Echoes86
911
Points
Echoes86 03/15/14 - 09:18 am
1
0
I'm more concerned about the

I'm more concerned about the person thumbing down every comment that is saying something negative about this man.

He's a sick pervert, and whether he did any actual rape or not, there's no hope for him. I honestly would prefer him to go to jail for way longer. Such a sad story for the little girl and her family.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs