Two Men Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – March 6, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Matthew Christian Pendergast, age 47, of Cameron, and Xavier John Fulwood, age 27, of Manning, SC, on 25 total charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General’s Office made the arrests. Investigators with the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the Pendergast investigation and arrest. Investigators with the Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Secret Service and Homeland Security Investigations, all also members of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the Fulwood investigation and arrest.

 

Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Fulwood. Investigators state both men distributed multiple files of child pornography. Pendergast also possessed child pornography.

 

Both men were arrested on March 5, 2020. Pendergast is charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, third degree (§16-15-410), a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment. Both men are charged with sexual exploitation of a minor, second degree (§16-15-405), a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment on each count. Pendergast is charged with eight counts and Fulwood is charged with 15.

 

These cases will be prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office.

 

Attorney General Wilson stressed all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty in a court of law.

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