JAN 31, 2023

Attorney General Alan Wilson announces Greenville man sentenced to 10 years for sexual exploitation of minors

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Seth Bruce of Greenville County has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for the sexual exploitation of children. Bruce pleaded guilty on January 30th to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 3rd degree in a case from Greenville County and two counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 1st degree from Beaufort County.

On May 14, 2021, the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office received a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding the sharing of child sexual abuse material between multiple e-mail accounts associated with Seth Bruce. During the course of the investigation, a search warrant was executed on the e-mail account associated with the cybertips. Contents of the account included personal images of Bruce’s family and over 500 images of child sexual abuse material stored in saved e-mails in the account. Further investigation revealed that the IP address referenced in the initial cybertip was associated with Bruce’s place of business and a search warrant for the business was obtained and executed on June 15, 2021. At the time of the search warrant a number of digital and computer-related devices were seized from Bruce’s office, including a spy camera, an SD card filled with illegal videos, and a cell phone that contained an app for the spy camera.

A review of the SD card revealed that Bruce had set up the spy camera in a bathroom used by minors at a residence in Hilton Head in June of 2020 and he secretly recorded four pre-teen and teen girls for a 6-day period. Information associated with Bruce’s cell phone indicated that he had also accessed the camera during the week at the beach to memorialize screenshots of the girls in the bathroom. Information regarding the recording of the four minors was forwarded to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office for further investigation and ultimately Bruce was served with warrants for SEM 1st degree for filming the minors in Beaufort county.

Judge J. Cordell Maddox, Jr. sentenced Bruce to 10 years in prison followed by five years of probation. On the one count of SEM 1st degree, he received four years. Consecutive to that sentence, he received a sentence of six years on the second count of SEM 1st degree. Consecutive to that sentence he received a sentence of 10 years suspended to 5 years of probation on the SEM 3rd degree. He received credit for 600 days of time served. He will have to register as a Tier 2 sex offender upon his release.

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