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Marion County is a county located in the coastal plain of the U.S. state of South Carolina. As of the 2020 census, its population was approximately 29,000, and the county seat is the city of Marion. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been documented within the county. For example, it was reported that in 2010-2011 Marion County had a prostitution rate of 3.08 per 100,000 people, a rate higher than the national average, based on data from the National Incident Base Reporting System. Cases of sex trafficking have also occurred in the county. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) has participated in conducting multi-jurisdictional web-based reverse stings, such as one that occurred in January 2022, that specifically sought out those soliciting children between the ages of 12 and 14 for the purposes of paid sexual abuse. During the week-long undercover operation dubbed “Operation X-Posed,” eight people traveled to meet those who they believed to be underage children. Their charges included criminal solicitation of minors, disseminating obscene material to persons under 18, second-degree sexual exploitation of minors, and attempting or promoting prostitution of minors.
Demand reduction tactics have often been used within the county, including the arrest sex buyers and public disclosure of their identities. For example, in November 2020, a man arrested in Marion County faced child sex charges. Investigators said the man allegedly solicited a person he believed to be a minor for sex and encouraged them to produce child sexual abuse material. The man was charged with attempted criminal solicitation of a minor, criminal sexual conduct with a minor, first-degree attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, and attempted promoting the prostitution of a minor. The state Attorney General’s Office prosecuted the case. The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the deputies of Marion County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest.
In September 2022, a Dillon resident was arrested and charged with child sexual abuse and other offenses, including criminal solicitation of a minor, participation in prostitution of a minor, and attempted criminal sexual conduct with a minor. Authorities alleged that the man solicited a person he believed to be a minor for sex and encouraged a person he believed to be a minor to engage in prostitution. The man was arrested by Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputies and members of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The case is to be prosecuted by the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office.
- Marion County Sheriff’s Office
- Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force
- South Carolina Attorney General’s Office
- Department of Homeland Security
Arrest of Sex Buyer, Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.wmbfnews.com/dillon-man-charged-child-sexual-abuse-materials-solicit-minor/ (2022)
- https://www.scag.gov/dillon-man-arrested-on-child-sexual-abuse-material-and-related-charges/ (2022)
- https://scnow.com/marion-county-law-enforcement-makes-arrests-published (2012)
- https://www.insideprison.com/city_crime_statistics_detailed.marion county (2012)
- https://www.dillonheraldonline.com/prostitution-arrests-made-after-investigation/ (2015)
- https://www.live5news.com/police-announce-results-operation-x-posed-investigation/ (2022)