Ex-Aryan Nations leader arrested for sexual abuse of children

Infamous racist August Byron Kreis III is currently being held without bond in Columbia, S.C.

By Bill Morlin

Published February 22, 2014 1:30PM (EST)

                                       (<a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-4999p1.html'>Junial Enterprises</a> via <a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/'>Shutterstock</a>)
(Junial Enterprises via Shutterstock)

This article was originally published by The Southern Poverty Law Center.

The Southern Poverty Law Center Infamous racist August Byron Kreis III, who once led a faction of the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations in order “to save the white race,” has been arrested again — this time on six counts of sexually abusing children in South Carolina.

The 59-old-year-old white supremacist, whose racist theology of Christian Identity disparages Jews and minorities, was taken into custody Wednesday in Richland County, S.C., and is now being held without bond in the Alvin Glenn Detention Center in Columbia.

He is charged in Richland County with one count of criminal sexual conduct with a minor under 16 and one count disseminating obscene material to a minor 12 years old or younger. Kreis also is charged in Lexington County, S.C., with three counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and in Kershaw County, S.C., with one count of that same crime.

It wasn’t immediately clear exactly how many child victims are involved in the six felony counts lodged against Kreis in the three South Carolina counties.

The newest investigation of Kreis’ activities started Feb. 3, when a woman contacted the Richland County Sheriff’s Office and reported that her daughter, whose age wasn’t provided by authorities, had been sexually assaulted.

“After a thorough investigation it was determined that Kreis sexually assaulted the victim, and provided obscene material for a period of three months, between September and November of 2013,” Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said in a statement.

The sheriff asked parents with information about Kreis or other potential victims in the three-county region “to come forward. The time frame in which the incident has occurred is not a factor.”

“What is important is that we get you the proper care and attention you deserve,” Lott said.

Last December, Kreis completed two years of probation he received in December 2011, when he was sentenced to six months in custody after pleading guilty to one count of veterans’ benefits fraud. As part of a plea deal, two other federal fraud charges involving veterans’ benefits were dismissed, but Kreis was ordered to pay the federal government $192,837 in restitution.

That federal investigation of Kreis was opened after he made public statements suggesting the Aryan Nations should form an alliance with Al Qaeda, because both entities hate Jews.

“You say they’re terrorists, I say they’re freedom fighters,” Kreis said during a 2005 interview with CNN.

In 2011 when he learned he faced arrest on the federal charges, Kreis said he was ready to die in a gun battle with police. But he ultimately peacefully surrendered to the local sheriff in Fulton, Tenn., and later was turned over to the U.S. Marshals Service.

Bill Morlin

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Aryan Nation August Byron Kreis Iii Sexual Abuse Southern Poverty Law Center