JUN 07, 2021
(COLUMBIA, S.C.) - June 7, 2021 - South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Thomas Tamas Panto, 74, of Gaffney, S.C., on five charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General's Office made the arrest. Investigators with the U.S. Secret Service and the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office, both also members of the state's ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.
Investigators received a CyberTipline report that led them to Panto. Investigators state Panto possessed multiple files of child sexual abuse material.
Panto was arrested on June 6, 2021. He is charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, third degree (§16-15-410), a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment on each count
This case 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.
* Child sexual abuse material, or CSAM, is a more accurate reflection of the material involved in these heinous and abusive crimes. "Pornography" can imply the child was a consenting participant. Globally, the term child pornography is being replaced by CSAM for this reason.
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