Undercover operation nets Summerville man arrested on child sex charges

Undercover operation nets Summerville man arrested on child sex charges

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Investigators say a 34-year-old Summerville man who was planning to sexually assault a child was taken into custody during an undercover operation.

The Charleston County Sheriff's Office arrested Thomas James Clayton Jr. on Wednesday.

Clayton's arrest stems from an investigation that started in October of last year when a detective with the sheriff's office was conducting an undercover operation where he posed as a 14-year-old girl online.

During the operation, authorities say Clayton messaged the undercover detective who he thought was a female teenager.

According to court records, Clayton re-initiated contact on two separate occasions for the the purpose of "sexual activity" with a person who he believed was a child.

Investigators say he then arranged to meet the child at a public park on Wednesday.

Court records state Clayton arrived at the location at 12:30 p.m. and was arrested.

Authorities reported that he had three condoms at the time he was taken into custody.

According to court records, Clayton later admitted during an interview to engaging in sexual conversation with what he believed to be a 14-year-old girl.

He was charged with second-degree attempted criminal sexual conduct and five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. Clayton received a $150,000 bond.

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