Several people convicted in Internet crimes against children cases
COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced several convictions throughout South Carolina in Internet crimes against children which included cases involving two Lowcountry men.
Keith Spindler was sentenced to three years suspended and two years of probation after pleading guilty last month to third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor in Berkeley County.
Authorities say Spindler's ex-girlfriend discovered child pornography on their home computer in July 2009 and turned it in to the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office. Spindler will be required to register as a sex offender.
David Langdon was sentenced to two years suspended and two years probation after pleading guilty earlier this month to contributing to the delinquency of a minor in Berkeley County. The Goose Creek Police Department investigated the case.
The attorney general's office also announced the following convictions and sentences:
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Kenneth Hernandez pleaded guilty on June 20 to twenty counts of sexual exploitation of a Minor, 2nd degree in front of Judge Carmen Mullen in Beaufort County. Judge Mullen requested a presentencing investigation and held sentencing in abeyance until the July term of court. Hernandez was taken into custody, where he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of two years and a maximum sentence of 200 years. Hernandez signed a forfeiture order and will be required to register as a sex offender.
David Hitchcock pleaded guilty to one count of criminal solicitation of a minor in front of Judge Frank Addy in Abbeville County on June 24, 2013. In June 2009, Hitchcock made four phone calls of a sexual nature to a 15-year-old girl and continued making sexual comments after being told her age. Judge Addy sentenced Hitchcock to ten years suspended to nine months home detention, credit for time served, followed by two years of probation. Hitchcock must register as a sex offender.
Brandon Peluso pleaded guilty on June 10, 2013, to criminal solicitation of a minor in front of Judge Larry Hyman in Horry County. After placing an online advertisement, Peluso communicated over email and text messaging with an individual whom he believed to be a 14-year-old female. After several months of communications, he traveled to meet the 14-year-old persona and was arrested. The 15th Circuit investigated the case. Judge Hyman sentenced the defendant to five years under the Youthful Offender Act, suspended to five years probation and sex offender counseling. The defendant signed a forfeiture order for his computer equipment and will have to register as a sex offender.
Courtney Strickland pleaded guilty June 21, 2013, to one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor in front of Judge Knox McMahon in York County. Strickland was sentenced to three years suspended upon 18 months probation. The York County Sheriff's Office investigated the case.
Christopher Strickland pleaded guilty June 21, 2013, to one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor in front of Judge Knox McMahon in York County. Strickland was sentenced to three years suspended upon 18 months probation. The York County Sheriff's Office investigated the case.
The cases were prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Bethany Miles.
Attorney General Alan Wilson said, "These cases are more important victories in our ongoing fight to protect South Carolina children and families from online predators. I commend all the law enforcement officers and prosecutors who were involved in finding these abusers. Together, we will keep working to protect children from those who mean them harm."
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