Sumter man sentenced to 5 years in prison for Child Sexual Abuse Material

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Oct. 30, 2020 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that Anthony Ray “Hammer” Nielson was sentenced today to five years in prison for distributing and possessing Child Sexual Abuse Material.

Nielson pleaded guilty on December 4, 2019, to two counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 2nd Degree, and one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 3rd Degree, in front of Judge Kristi Curtis in Sumter County. In August 2016, the defendant sent child sexual abuse material via a file-sharing network to Special Investigator Kevin Atkins with the Attorney General’s Office. After identifying the defendant, investigators carried out a search warrant at Nielson’s residence in Sumter County, where they seized computer-related items. Investigators conducted a forensic examination of those items and found file-sharing software, extremely graphic search terms, and additional child sexual abuse material. Nielson then fled to Georgia where he was arrested in October 2017.

Nielson had serious health problems after his plea last year that postponed his sentencing. On October 30, 2020, Nielson was sentenced to five years in prison on all Sexual Exploitation of a Minor charges. He consented to the forfeiture of his seized items and he will have to register as a sex offender upon his release. In an unrelated case, the defendant was charged with possession of methamphetamine, and he pleaded guilty to that charge at the same time he was sentenced on the above charges.

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