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Murrells Inlet man designated as ‘sexually violent predator’ following child porn possession plea

Lawrence Tafoya
Lawrence Tafoya(Source: 15th Circuit Solicitor's Office)
Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 10:33 AM EDT
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GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – A Murrells Inlet man will spend nearly a decade in prison after authorities said child pornography was found on his phone.

Lawrence Tafoya, 65, pleaded guilty last month to third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

He was previously convicted of a sex offense in Georgia and served several years in prison before he was released on parole, which was transferred to South Carolina.

His parole agent in Georgetown County was the one who discovered the images on his phone, according to the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Officials said the phone was analyzed and it was determined that it contained pornographic images, some of which were sexually explicit pictures of young children.

Judge Benjamin Culbertson sentenced Tafoya to seven years in prison.

He was also ordered to register as a sex offender, be on the Central Registry of Child Abuse and wear a GPS monitor after he is released from prison.

Tafoya was also designated as a sexually violent predator in South Carolina.

In 1998, the South Carolina Legislature passed the Sexually Violent Predator Act. It allows the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office to pursue a civil commitment of Tafoya once he completes his prison sentence.

“The SVP Act addresses legitimate public safety concerns while providing treatment for adult sexual offenders whom, due to mental abnormality or personality disorder, are predisposed to likely engage in sexually violent behavior,” according to the S.C. Attorney General’s Office.

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