Horry County volunteer fire chief arrested for criminal sexual conduct with a minor

Talmadge Rowell, 43, is charged with criminal sexual conduct first degree.

Horry County police charged Talmadge Rowell, 51, with criminal sexual conduct first degree. Police say he inappropriately touched three girls, ages 14, 12 and 3. He was a volunteer fire chief with Horry County.

According to the police report, one of the girls said Rowell would touch her private area, kiss her neck and put his tongue down her throat. Another girl said he did the same to her. They said it started about two years ago. One girl said she didn't say anything because Rowell said if she told anyone he would kill them.

The person who filed the report said about five months ago, the 3-year-old starting holding her private area as if she needed to go to the bathroom. But when asked what was wrong, the girl said it hurt. When the person asked what happened, the little girl said Rowell touched her there.

Rowell is being held in J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

Horry County Fire Rescue Spokeswoman Leslie Yancey say Rowell was a volunteer fire chief for District 38 for about 30 years. She says his volunteer status has been terminated.