JUL 12, 2021
(COLUMBIA, S.C.) - July 12, 2021 - South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Jerry Wayne Townsend, 62, of Saluda, S.C., on four 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 Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Secret Service, and the Saluda County Sheriff's Office, all also members of the state's ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.
Investigators received a CyberTipline report that led them to Townsend. Investigators state Townsend possessed files of child sexual abuse material.
Townsend was arrested on July 9, 2021. He is charged with four 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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