Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that, on Sept. 19, Sam Smith pleaded guilty to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Third Degree in Lexington County before the Honorable Judge William Keesley.
The investigation of Smith began after a user of a file-sharing network had made available for download files of child sexual abuse material. Investigators tracked the files back to an address in Lexington County. On June 14, 2021, investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at the home. During the search warrant, the homeowner indicated that Smith lived in a trailer near the home and may also have the Wi-Fi password.
Also, while on the scene, investigators confirmed with the internet service provider there were more devices connected to the Wi-Fi account than could be accounted for at the residence. When investigators tried to speak with Smith, he was evasive. Investigators executed a search warrant on Smith’s trailer and found child sexual abuse material and child sexual abuse material accessories. A full forensic examination by a computer examiner with the Attorney General’s Office located approximately 59,000 files of child sexual abuse material.
Judge Keesley sentenced Smith to 10 years in prison, with credit for 827 days already served. Smith will have to register as a sex offender upon his release. He also forfeited his electronic devices.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Stephen Ryan.