Varnville man sentenced to prison for possessing child pornography

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 8, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that a man from Varnville in Hampton County was sentenced to four years in prison Monday, October 7th, for possessing child pornography. John Edward Benson pleaded guilty to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 3rd degree, in front of Judge Carmen Mullen in Allendale County.

In May 2017, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a tip that a user uploaded nearly 100 images to a Dropbox cloud storage account. Special Investigator Jason Hughes with the Attorney General’s Office obtained subscriber information for the user, which led to a residence in Varnville, SC. A search warrant was executed where several items were seized, and additional child pornography files were found on a laptop and a cell phone.

Judge Mullen sentenced Benson to four years active time and he was given credit for time he has already served in jail. Benson consented to the forfeiture of his seized devices and will have to register as a sex offender upon his release.

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