Charleston County man sentenced to 20 years for sexual exploitation of a minor

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Jan. 8, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that a Charleston County man has been sentenced to 20 years for the sexual exploitation of a minor.

On Monday, January 6th, Robert Joseph Berardi pleaded guilty to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, First Degree, before the Honorable Jennifer B. McCoy in Charleston County. Judge McCoy sentenced Berardi to a negotiated 20 years in state prison.

“This is a horrendous case of abuse so we’re glad that this predator will be locked up for two decades,” Attorney General Wilson said. “He stole this young girl’s innocence and she and her family will be dealing with the effects of this for years.”

In December 2016, a woman made a complaint to the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office that Berardi had inadvertently sent her a sexually explicit video of the woman’s 10-year-old daughter. The girl was forensically interviewed and disclosed that from September of 2016, when she was 9 years old, until December 2016, when she was 10 years old, Berardi sexually abused and exploited her, including shooting video on his cell phone of her during the abuse.

On December 15, 2016, arrest warrants against Berardi were obtained and, even though his whereabouts were initially unknown, he was arrested on December 27, 2016. When he was first interviewed by a Charleston County Sheriff’s Office detective, Berardi denied ever seeing the video, but after further discussion he confessed to sending the video to the girl’s mother.

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