A week after his arrest for child molestation, a longtime lawyer in Columbia was suspended by the SC Supreme Court.
Harry Gregory Jr., 61, former head of the State Accident Fund, was charged with indecent behavior on a child from 2002 to 2004, according to the Richland County’s Sheriff’s Department.
“It is ordered that the license of the respondent (Gregory) to exercise the law in this state is suspended pending further order of this court,” reads the concise order, which was signed by all five judges. The order did not relate to fees.
It is the Supreme Court’s practice to temporarily suspend an attorney’s license to practice when the attorney is charged with a crime or other serious criminal offense. The suspension is usually lifted if the accused is acquitted or the charges are dismissed.
Gregory was arrested around dawn on March 18 when a team of law enforcement officers showed up at his home on Windsor Road and called him outside on a loudspeaker. The officers then carried out a search warrant for his house and yard, according to a notice from the sheriff’s department.
Gregory was released that afternoon on a $ 100,000 personal loan note. That is, he did not raise any money but undertook to appear in court if he was summoned.
His attorney Greg Harris said in an interview last week that Magistrate Mildred Metts had determined that Gregory posed neither a flight risk nor a danger to the community.
Gregory is a longtime Columbia area resident whose parents live in the area and who has lived in the same house for about 30 years, Harris said. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and its law school. Gregory has no criminal record and the allegations against him are more than 15 years old, Harris said.
Members of the Fugitive Task Force from the Sheriff’s Department, the Special Victims Unit, the Major Crimes Unit and the Columbia Police Department participated in the arrest.
If Gregory is convicted of a crime, he faces a maximum of 15 years in prison and a fine under South Carolina law.
John Monk has been involved in the courts, crime, politics, public corruption, environment and other issues in the Carolinas for more than 40 years. Monk is a US Army veteran who covered the 1989 American invasion of Panama. He is a former Washington correspondent for The Charlotte Observer. He has reported on numerous death penalty trials, including the Charleston Church killer Dylann Roof, serial killer Pee Wee Gaskins, and child killer Tim Jones. Monk’s hobbies include hiking, books, languages, music and many other things.