A Seabrook man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to child pornography charges earlier this year, according to a news release from the S.C. Attorney General's Office.
Kenneth Xavier Hernandez, 25, pleaded guilty to 20 counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor in June. He was sentenced Monday.
Hernandez was arrested in April 2011 and charged with more than 30 counts of the sexual exploitation of a minor after a three-month investigation by the S.C. Attorney General's Internet Crimes Against Children Division and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the news release said.
Investigators from both agencies found Hernandez was downloading videos and files of children being sexually abused and transmitting them over file-sharing networks. Between November 2010 and January 2011, a user account traced to Hernandez transmitted 38 child pornography files to undercover agents, the news release said.
More than 50 child pornography videos were found on Hernandez's computer, which was seized during a search of his home. Hernandez also admitted to receiving and downloading child pornography videos and to being sexually attracted to children, the report said.
Hernandez was charged on April 7, 2011, with 38 counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. Hernandez pleaded guilty to 20 of the charges on June 20.
On Monday, Circuit Judge Carmen Mullen sentenced him to 20 years in prison. Hernandez will have to serve at least two years before he is eligible for parole, according to state law. Hernandez also will have to serve five years of probation and register as a sex offender, according to the report.
Eighteen of the 38 counts Hernandez faced were dropped as part of his plea agreement, said Attorney General's Office spokesman Mark Powell.
Although Hernandez was investigated by the NCIS, he had no ties to the area's military installations. A spokesman for the Attorney General's Office said in 2011 Hernandez had no affiliation with an armed service and that NCIS routinely participated in child pornography investigations.