Berkeley County Sheriff's Department Lt. K.C. Bohrer investigated.
Games-Neely said that Pearrell baby-sat the boy and at one point was made his legal guardian. He came into contact with the boy because the boy's mother was in jail on a probation revocation charge, stemming from an underlying charge of welfare fraud, Games-Neely said.
Although the victim remembers specific incidents of abuse, he could not say for certain how many times he was assaulted, Games-Neely said. Prosecutors asked that an indictment be returned charging Pearrell with four counts of first-degree sexual assault and four counts of incest for each year from 1985 to 1991.
"It probably happened many more times," Games-Neely said. "We took a conservative estimate."
Pearrell has been indicted on similar charges in Morgan County, but Games-Neely was not sure of the exact charges.
Pearrell lived in Morgan County sometime after 1991, she said.
Pearrell is on administrative leave from the fire department, Games-Neely said.
A Circuit Court judge will arraign Pearrell on the charges next week. If Pearrell pleads innocent, a trial date will be scheduled.
Pearrell's attorney, Kevin Mills, said his client will plead innocent to all of the charges.
"The only thing worse than being charged with crimes of sexual misconduct involving a minor is being falsely accused of crimes involving sexual misconduct involving a minor," Mills said.
Conviction on a charge of first-degree sexual assault carries a sentence of 15 to 35 years in prison; conviction on a charge of incest carries a sentence of 5 to 15 years in prison; and conviction on a charge of sexual assault by a parent or guardian carries a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison.