Ex-Greenville officer pleads for domestic violence, no jail
A former Greenville County police officer pleaded guilty Thursday to domestic violence.
Michael Valdario, 32 from Greer, pleaded guilty to third degree domestic violence in Greenville County Court after being charged in 2019 with second degree domestic violence.
Judge Alex Kinlaw gave Valdario credit for being in jail when he was arrested in 2019, court records show. Kinlaw could have sentenced Valdario to up to 90 days in prison and fined $ 2,500 under South Carolina law.
The judge also ruled that Valdario could not own firearms, according to the records, ending any chance he could become a police officer again.
Valdario was the Member of Parliament for Greenville from 2015 to 2019 and an officer in the Greenville Police Department from 2011 to 2015.
In 2019, Valdario slammed his wife against a refrigerator after she said he was playing too brutally with their daughter, according to a police report. She tried to walk away but he followed her. Fearing what he would do next, she took a gun and held it beside her until he walked away, according to the report.
During an argument about two weeks later, he nudged her, knocking her down and banging her face against a bed frame. His lip was broken and a few teeth broken, according to the report. After making him leave, she gathered all the weapons to prevent him from getting one. His wife told police she was “constantly afraid of what he was going to do”, according to the report.
The Traveler’s Rest Police Department charged Valdario with second degree domestic violence and the Greenville Sheriff’s Office fired him.
Valdario still has outstanding charges in a separate case.
In 2020, Lexington County MPs charged Valdario with two counts of first degree sexual exploitation of a minor, two counts of second degree exploitation of a minor, first degree criminal sexual conduct and d ‘removal.
Valdario is accused of raping a teenage girl, asking her for sexually explicit photos and sending her sexual messages during the year 2020.
Valdario could go to jail for 30 years if convicted of criminal sexual behavior in the first degree.
SC officers charged with violence against women
In April, the state reported the number of SC police officers who were charged from 2010 to 2020 with violence against women. Most of these charges were domestic violence.
On average, nine police officers per year are accused of violence against women in SC. Advocates for survivors said that number was likely too low and did not give an accurate picture of the scale of the violence, as victims do not always report abuse, fearing further harm.
In 2021, at least 14 police officers were accused or convicted of violence against women.
This story was originally published 23 October 2021 13:01.