Joe Whitmire

A Laurens man was arrested by the Laurens County Sheriff's Office on June 17 and charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

In May of this year, an investigation was started in reference to an allegation of sexual assault. Investigators received information that a child under the age of 10 was groped and fondled at a residence in Joanna.

After further investigation and interviews with parties involved, Joe Thomas Whitmire, 73, of 322 Cora Street in Laurens was arrested on June 17 and charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor. He currently remains in the Johnson Detention Center.

Details given during the course of this investigation lead investigators to believe that Whitmire could have other victims. If you have any information about Mr. Whitmire, you can call Investigator Kanipe (864-984-4967) or CrimeStoppers (864-68-CRIME).

“No child should ever have to go through something like this," said Sheriff Don Reynolds. "The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office will always fight to ensure that children are safe. When such despicable acts do happen, we will always strive to make sure justice is served. If you have been affected by the actions of this individual, I encourage you to reach out to us so that we can see to it that he is held accountable for his actions.”