Oconee County, SC
|IT Based Tactics||✓|
Oconee County is a county in the westernmost part of South Carolina that has a population of approximately 80,000 residents. Its county seat is Walhalla and its largest city is Seneca. Instances of prostitution and sex trafficking have been documented in the county. For example, in May 2012, a 62-year-old Seneca resident and “former Guardian Ad Litem volunteer” was arrested following an undercover investigation by the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office. The man was charged with soliciting prostitution “following a month-long investigation, [during which he] allegedly paid informants to perform sexual acts.” His identity was similarly publicized in press. Although the logistical details of the operation were not reported, OCSO deputies stated that the sting was launched after law enforcement received a complaint.
Identity disclosure and loss of employment are also consequences of sex buying in the county. For example, in 2021 a School Resource Officer at Fair Oak Elementary School and a deputy with the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office was fired from both positions after being named as a suspect in a sex trafficking investigation. The offender was later charged with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, sexual exploitation of children, and the production of child sexual abuse materials (CSAM). Four additional people were charged in the conspiracy.
Street-Level Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- “Prostitution Sting Results in 5 Arrests,” Seneca Daily Journal-Messenger, July 17 2008.
- “Prostitution Sting Nets Arrests,” Seneca Daily Journal-Messenger, June 17 2010.
- “Guardian Ad Litem Arrested, Charged in Oconee County Prostitution Sting,” CBS/WSPA-TV 7, May 21 2012.
- “Deputies: Child Advocate Paid Informants to Perform Sexual Acts,” NBC/WYFF-TV 4, May 22 2012.
- “Man Charged with Soliciting Prostitution,” Seneca Daily Journal-Messenger, May 23 2012.
Sex Buyer Fired or Resigned Due to Arrest:
- https://www.newsbreak.com/news/fair-oak-elementary-school-resource-officer-fired-after-department-of-homeland-security-investigation-sheriff-says (2021)
- https://www.wspa.com/news/local-news/oconee-co-school-resource-officer-fired-amid-federal-investigation (2021)
- https://www.wistv.com/former-elementary-sro-accused-taking-part-sex-trafficking-conspiracy (2021)
- https://www.foxcarolina.com/news/us-attorney-former-sro-charged-with-conspiracy-to-commit-child-sex-trafficking-pleads-guilty (2021)
Background on Local Sex Trafficking and Prostitution:
- “Undercover Operation Nabs 4 for Prostitution,” Anderson Independent-Mail, March 19 2007.
- “Second Arrest for Accused Seneca Prostitute,” Seneca Daily Journal-Messenger, April 7 2007.
- “Fifth Prostitution Arrest in Seneca,” Seneca Daily Journal-Messenger, September 4 2007.
- “Undercover Busts Net Pair of Arrests,” Seneca Journal, September 11 2013.
Comments are closed.