Teen recently sentenced for sexual assault on elderly woman escapes facility

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Law enforcement agencies are searching for Nicholas Rios (Photo courtesy of South Carolina Dept. of Juvenile Justice)

COLUMBIA, SC (WBTW) – A 16-year-old who pleaded guilty and was sentenced in December for the attack of an elderly Surfside Beach woman, has escaped from a juvenile facility in Columbia, according to the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice.

Nicholas Rios is believed to have left the DJJ Broad River Road Complex on Wednesday evening. SLED air and ground units are actively searching for him, along with other law enforcement officials.

Rios is 5’2″, 145 lbs and was last seen wearing a white crew neck t-shirt, khaki pants & black shoes, according to officials. Rios is serving 35 years for criminal sexual conduct.

News13 reported in December that Rios pleaded guilty to attempted murder, burglary, criminal sexual assault and kidnapping.

The victim in the initial case was left with ‘extensive injuries’ after an attack at her home, according to the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

Officials urge citizens in the Columbia area to use caution & immediately call 911 if you see Rios.

The Broad River Road Complex is the Department of Juvenile Justice’s long-term commitment facility, according to its website. The complex offers programs for boys and girls of all backgrounds and needs, including programs for youth sex offenders.

News13 was the first to report this developing story.

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