Judge sentences man after criminal sexual conduct, sexual exploitation of minors
BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A judge has sentenced a Berkeley County man for the sexual exploitation of a minor, criminal sexual conduct and dissemination of obscene material.
Wesley Kendall Smith, 43, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Sept. 22 after pleading guilty to first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, third-degree criminal sexual conduct and dissemination of obscene material to a person under 18, The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office spokesman Robert Kittle says.
Judge Deadra Jefferson sentenced Smith to 18 years for the first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor charge, and two additional years for each dissemination of obscene material to a person under 18 and criminal sexual conduct charges, Kittle says. The charges will be served concurrently, with each other but consecutively to the 18-year sentence.
Smith began using fake social media accounts to talk with teenage girls in February 2020, Kittle says. One of those victims was a person who was known to Smith before and to whom he had given a cell phone.
During the conversation, Smith pretended to be a teenage boy and had convinced one victim to send him an explicit picture of herself, a press release states.
After he got the picture, Smith then used another fake account to threaten to publish the pictures if she did not allow a man, who she did not know to be Smith himself to perform sexual acts on her.
Kittle says Smith took pictures of himself performing those acts on the victim, which also shows his wedding ring and an identifying scar.
The victim reported the incident to the St. Stephen Police Department, which led to the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office assisting with the investigation, the press release states.
While receiving social media records for all accounts associated with Smith’s phone number, investigators found an additional teenage girl to whom Smith had sent adult pornography, Kittle says.
Kittle says Smith will be required to register as a sex offender upon his eventual release.
Smith was being held at the Hill-Finklea Detention Center.
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