Three children abused, husband and wife arrested

Lester Cox / Courtesy: Marlboro County Sheriff's Office

Marlboro County deputies arrested Lester Cox, 43, and his wife, Tracy Cox, 36, in connection with the abuse of three children.

Deputies say a child reported the abuse to a Dillon County school. Dillon County deputies determined the abuse happened in Marlboro County and contacted authorities there.

Deputies say the investigation shows the abuse was ongoing by Lester Cox over the past three years. They charged him with Criminal Sexual Conduct with a minor 1st Degree, three counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor 2nd degree, Criminal Sexual Conduct 3rd degree and three counts of Assault and Battery 2nd degree.

Tracy Cox is charged with five counts of Accessory after the fact to a felony. Deputies say she knew about the abuse.

The husband and wife turned themselves in to the Marlboro County Sheriff's Office Thursday.

Marlboro County Sheriff Fred Knight said in a press release, "Cases like this are always very sensitive and emotional. I commend Inv. Susan Alderman with my department, Dillon County Sheriff's Office, DSS and the Fourth Circuit Solicitors office for an excellent job on this case. The safety of the children is by far the most important thing at this time."