(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that a Laurens man pleaded guilty Wednesday to sexual exploitation of a minor charges and was sentenced to six years in prison. Thomas Michael Jones pleaded guilty to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 2nd degree and one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 3rd degree. The SEM 2nd Degree charge is for distributing child sexual abuse material while the 3rd degree charge is for possession of it.
In July 2016, someone sent files of child sexual abuse material from a file-sharing network to Special Investigator Kevin Atkins with the Attorney General’s Office. Special Investigator Atkins obtained subscriber information and was able to identify Jones’s residence as the location from which the files were sent. Investigators executed a search warrant at Jones’s residence and seized several electronic items. A forensic examination of the electronics found over 53,000 sexually explicit files of children.
On September 8th in Laurens County, Judge Frank Addy, Jr. sentenced Jones to six years in prison. Jones must register as a sex offender and he consented to the forfeiture of his computer equipment.