York County man sentenced to 18 years for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 12, 2020 – Attorney General Alan Wilson announced today that Richard Austin, III, entered a plea to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, First Degree, and one count of Voyeurism in York County in front of Judge William McKinnon.

On June 12, 2019, concerned citizens turned in a cell phone to the Fort Mill Police Department after they discovered it contained child sexual abuse material. An investigator with the York County Sheriff’s office obtained a search warrant for the device. The investigation determined the cell phone belonged to Austin and the search revealed 175 images of child sexual abuse material. Investigators got a subsequent search warrant for Austin’s home and they found several other cell phones and SD cards. In addition to containing more images and videos of child sexual abuse material, the digital and computer-related devices contained a video of Austin sexually assaulting a 4-year-old child. A search of the newly seized items also revealed a voyeuristic video of an adult woman changing clothing in a bathroom, which was filmed without her knowledge or consent.

Judge McKinnon sentenced Austin to one year on the Voyeurism charge, suspended to time already served; and 18 years at the Department of Corrections on the charge of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, First degree. Austin will have to register as a sex offender for life.

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