LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. — A former Lancaster County school resource officer has been charged with two counts of criminal solicitation of a minor, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
Authorities announced Wednesday that 34-year-old Justine Hatfield of Heath Springs was arrested after an investigation initiated by the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.
According to a SLED arrest warrant, Hatfield communicated with a minor during a live Instagram video chat while performing a sexual act in the viewing presence of the victim on May 13, 2022. The former Lancaster PD school resource officer was familiar with the victim and knew they were under the age of 18.
SLED was provided with screen recorded evidence of the video chat. The Lancaster victim also provided corroborating information to law enforcement.
Hatfield was booked at the Lancaster County Detention Center.
The Lancaster County School District made the following statement about the arrest:
“We are aware that there is an ongoing law enforcement investigation concerning a former School Resource Officer who once was assigned to one of our schools. We do not know the full scope or breadth of the investigation and therefore cannot comment on it. School Resource Officers are not employed by the school district nor supervised by the district. They are employees of the law enforcement agency they represent,” Lancaster County School District Director of Communications and Safety Bryan Vaughn said. “We will continue to monitor this situation and cooperate with any law enforcement investigation as requested. No further comment will be made at this time. We will defer to the investigating law enforcement agency for any specific information released. Our main concern stays focused on any victim of a crime and their mental and physical well-being.”