South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Robert Earl Wessinger, Jr. (age 60), of Chapin, S.C., on three charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.
Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Wessinger. Investigators state Wessinger distributed files of child sexual abuse material.
Wessinger was arrested on January 11, 2024. He is charged with three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, second degree (§16-15-405), a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment on each charge.
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.