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      Fifth man claims he was molested by former Pee Dee solicitor

      Jay Hodge/File photo

      A 36-year-old man is now the fifth person to join a lawsuit against former Fourth Circuit Solicitor Jay Hodge on allegations of Sexual Battery, Fraud, Wilful Misconduct, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, and Child Sexual Abuses, according to the suit.

      It was filed March 21 by the plantiffs' attorney M.W. Cockrell, III of Chesterfield County.

      The man who joined the suit is identified as Youth Male E.

      The suit says Hodge sexually abused and molested Youth Male E between 1992 and 1997, including fondling and masturbation.

      He is seeking actual and punitive damages.

      Three men filed a civil lawsuit in 2012.

      A fourth joined the suit in December.

      They claim Hodge molested them when he was their Boy Scout leader between 1975 and 1980.

      Hodge served as solicitor for the Fourth Circuit, which covers Chesterfield, Darlington, Marlboro and Dillon counties, for 12 years. He retired from office in 2008, but continues to practice law in Chesterfield County.

      Hodge couldn't be reached for comment, but did release a statement to us in 2012 when the lawsuit was initially filed.

      "It's a lie," Hodge said in response to the lawsuit. "People who do know me, parents who have entrusted their children with me for 35 years will know that it's a lie. Many who don't know me, once the names of the 40-year-old alleged victims are revealed, will also realize it's lie and will see what their motive is."

      Cockrell says a jury trial in this lawsuit could take place later this year.