SHARECOMMENTMORE

By David Dykes, Greenville News

Greenville, SC -- A Greenville resident employed as a security guard is facing criminal sexual conduct charges in an assault case that investigators and arrest warrants allege involved a 13-year-old girl he was taking from a Greenville Health System facility to a Charleston health facility.

Paul Matthew Cason, 25, of 3 Rayburn St., was charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor age 11 to 14, according to warrants. He also was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct after investigators alleged that he committed or attempted to commit a lewd act on a victim under age 16, according to warrants.

Cason couldn't be reached for comment.

Warrants allege that Cason was employed by a private security company and that he assaulted the teen, entrusted to his care, while he took her from the Greenville Hospital System to a facility in Charleston in November. The hospital system is now known as the Greenville Health System.

The health system is cooperating with law enforcement officials in their investigation, a spokeswoman said. GHS also will review its patient transport processes and contracts, said spokeswoman Sandy Dees.

Court records show Cason was arrested in December.

A spokeswoman for the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division declined to comment, citing an ongoing investigation. The 13th Circuit Solicitor's Office said prosecutors were reviewing the case and declined further comment.

Billy Wilkins, an attorney for Greenville-based American Services Inc., said Thursday the security firm suspended Cason without pay once it learned of the allegations and he resigned the next day. The company has "cooperated fully" with investigators, Wilkins said.

The company provides security and related services to the Greenville Health System, Wilkins said.

"This type of conduct, if true, is completely contrary to everything American Services stands for," Wilkins said. "It employs hundreds of men and women throughout South Carolina and beyond and has always strictly enforced a zero tolerance for any type of misconduct."

Employees undergo a thorough, independent background investigation before being employed, Wilkins said.

"There was not even a hint of evidence that the employee in question would ever behave in the manner alleged," he said.

GHS patients with clinical needs who require transportation to other facilities are taken by GHS' advanced-life-support ambulance transport service, Dees said.

Patients who don't require clinical care are transported by a contracted agency, Dees said.

That agency is required by the terms of its contract with GHS to conduct yearly SLED background checks on all employees involved in patient transport, she said.