South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of William Michael Shuford (age 71), of West Columbia, on five charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department made the arrest. Investigators from the Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in Texas assisted with the investigation.
Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Shuford. Investigators state Shuford traveled to meet a person he believed to be a minor for sex and distributed files of child sexual abuse material.*
Shuford was arrested on February 1, 2024. He is charged with one count of attempted criminal sexual conduct with a minor; and four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, second degree, a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment on each charge.
Shuford was previously convicted on related charges in 2002.
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.