FEB 05, 2024
(COLUMBIA, S.C.) - South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Michael David Starnes, Jr., 37, of Mount Pleasant, S.C., on two charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Charleston County Sheriff's Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General's Office, Mount Pleasant Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, and Summerville Police Department, all also members of the state's ICAC Task Force, assisted with this investigation.
Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Starnes. Investigators state Starnes distributed and possessed files of child sexual abuse material.
Starnes was arrested on January 29, 2024. He is charged with one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, second degree (§16-15-405), a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment; and one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, third degree (§16-15-410), a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.
The 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.
For media inquiries please contact Robert Kittle, email@example.com or 803-734-3670Media Contact
The Honorable Alan Wilson
P.O. Box 11549
Columbia, S.C. 29211
1000 Assembly Street, Room 519
Columbia, S.C. 29201