Federal program targets online child predators
Mitchell Thomas Campbell, 27, of Beaufort was sentenced to three years in prison after he pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a minor before Beaufort County Judge Carmen Mullen on Thursday, according to the S.C. Attorney General’s Office.
An investigation began after Facebook contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on June 18, 2018 about the exchange of nude photos between accounts associated with Campbell and a minor.
A Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office investigator reviewed discussions between Campbell and the minor including one where Campbell said, “By law u r to young but ur grown.”
It also was determined the minor was 15-years-old when she sent the photos.
Sheriff’s Office Maj. Bob Bromage said publicity on the case could “help illuminate the dangers of social media as a platform for those targeting minors.”
Campbell faced up to 20 years in prison for a third-degree count of sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of disseminating obscene material to a person under the age of 18-years-old.
His plea deal sentenced him to three years imprisonment to be served concurrently for the sexual exploitation count and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
He also will have to register as a sex offender upon his release.
Hunter Swanson with the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office prosecuted the contributing to the delinquency of a minor charge. Stephen Ryan with the Attorney General’s Office prosecuted the sexual exploitation offense.