JUN 22, 2021
(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – A York County man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the sexual exploitation of minors and voyeurism. Mark Steven Ehrnschwender pleaded guilty Monday to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 2nd degree; one count of Sexual Exploitation of Minor, 3rd degree; and four counts of voyeurism.
On September 17, 2018, Investigator Kevin Atkins with the South Carolina Attorney General’s office conducted an investigation into the use of a file sharing program that was being used for the distribution and possession of child sexual abuse material. An online user sent sexually explicit files of children to Inv. Atkins. Inv. Atkins’ investigation traced the user sharing the material to a residence located in York County. Atkins forwarded this information to Investigator Alex Clark with the York County Sheriff’s Office. On October 9, 2018, Inv. Clark executed a search warrant at the residence of Mark Ehrnschwender. At that time, he seized a number of computer and digital-related devices and they were later examined by law enforcement. Inv. Chris Bomar with the South Carolina Attorney General’s office located over 501,263 photos and 8,907 videos of child sexual abuse material on these devices.
While reviewing the computer-related devices, law enforcement also uncovered over 7,500 voyeuristic videos that Ehrnschwender recorded. The investigation revealed that Ehrschwender had placed hidden cameras in the bathrooms of his house and he secretly recorded friends and family members over at least an eight-year span. In all, Ehrnschwender recorded 19 different people, including minors, without their consent.
Judge Daniel Dewitt Hall sentenced Ehrnschwender to 10 years on the Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 2nd degree charge, to be followed by a sentence of 10 years on the Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 3rd degree charge. He received three years on each of the voyeurism charges, to run concurrent with the 20 years on the other charges. He had to forfeit his computer and digital devices and will have to register as a sex offender.
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