MARCH 24, 2006 -- The State Bureau of Investigation is looking into allegations that a candidate for the state Senate molested a child.
Wilmington Lawyer Sherman Lee Criner is the Republican challenger to Democrat Julia Boseman for the Senate. Criner is now at the center of a child molestation investigation.
The Wilmington Police Department began investigating this around the 1st of March when the incident report was first filed. The report states that a six-year-old girl was molested at Thalian Hall.
Sherman Criner is the husband of District Court Judge Sandra Ray Criner.
The SBI is investigating to avoid any conflicts of interest with local law enforcement who often appear in court with Judge Criner. District Attorney Ben David requested outside help in investigating this incident.
No charges have been filed. The SBI is expected to deliver a report to the Special Prosecution Division of the Attorney General's Office.
Since news of the allegations broke, Criner's neighbors are expressing shock over hearing about the investigation. Criner told the Republican Party chairman that he denies the allegations.
Reported by Joe Keiley