Man suspect in several child sex assaults


Deputies in Berkeley County arrested a Goose Creek man on a charge of sexual assault and discovered more than 20 additional incidents.

Thomas Robert Bendell Jr., 42, was first arrested on May 14 related to an investigation of sexual assault of a minor. One week later he was arrested on additional assault charges as well as sexual exploitation of a minor, after investigators were able to take a look at his phone.

Court papers show that Bendell’s phone was used on at least 20 occasions to record sex acts with children under 11 years old. The incident report shows it was first reported by a neighbor of Bendell.

Bendell is being held at the Hill Finklea Detention Center in Moncks Corner. Bendell is being held on a $75,000 bond on one count of criminal sexual conduct. There are no bonds set for the additional 23 charges that include sexual exploitation of a minor, first degree and sexual misconduct.