Columbia, South Carolina — Acting United States Attorney M. Rhett DeHart announced today that Xanthus Nakia Murdaugh, 46, of Rock Hill, was sentenced to more than 11 and 1/2 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to an offense related to the attempted sexual exploitation of a child.
Evidence presented to the court showed that Murdaugh is a repeat offender, having a prior federal child pornography conviction and a prior state conviction for Solicitation of a Crime Against Nature. Murdaugh also admitted to the sexual abuse of numerous minors, including children in the foster system, for which he had never been held accountable.
Evidence presented in court further showed that on November 6, 2019, Murdaugh communicated with undercover law enforcement on a social media application that allows users anonymously communicate with other users. On that same date, Murdaugh began speaking with who he was told was a mother who needed help with her children. After Murdaugh was told the mother had a 13-year-old daughter, he indicated an interest in having sex with the minor. With condoms and lubricant, Murdaugh drove to a residence where he was told the 13-year-old minor would be present. Murdaugh was arrested that night and has remained in custody since that time. Murdaugh ultimately pled guilty to the attempted coercion and enticement of a minor.
United States District Judge J. Michelle Childs sentenced Murdaugh to 140 months in federal prison, near the top of his advisory guideline range, to be followed by a 10-year term of court-ordered supervision. There is no parole in the federal system.
The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security (HSI), York County Sherriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), United States Secret Service, South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Assistant United States Attorney Elliott B. Daniels prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
Dylann Storm Roof
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