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About Alan Wilson’s Anti-Child Porn Efforts …

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TOUGH ON SEXUAL PREDATORS? NOT SO MUCH …

A little over a year ago, this website was given a heads-up from S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson‘s office regarding a child pornography arrest in Greenville County, S.C.  The defendant in this case – Larry Gene Peppers – was a prominent Upstate “economic developer,” and Wilson’s office apparently thought we would be interested in covering the arrest given our contempt for such crony capitalists.

We took the bait … and broke the news of Peppers’ arrest.

As we noted at the time, Peppers was charged with six counts of sexually exploiting minors – and could have faced six decades in prison for his crimes.  In fact, two of the six charges filed against Peppers were second-degree exploitation counts … which carried a mandatory minimum of two years behind bars for each count.

In other words depending on how seriously you view the issue of child pornography, Peppers’ crimes should have landed him behind bars for anywhere from four years to sixty years.

Well guess what …

He got no time …

That’s right. Peppers will serve no time in prison because Wilson’s office dropped both of the second-degree child exploitation charges (along with three of the four third-degree charges) against him.

Don’t believe us? Take a look …

(Click to enlarge)

(Caps via Greenville County)

What punishment did he receive? Peppers pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree sexual exploitation, for which he received a five-year suspended sentence and three years of probation.

(Click to enlarge)

peppers guilty plea

(Cap via Greenville County)

Unreal …

Two years ago, this website praised Wilson’s anti-child pornography efforts, noting how the state’s Internet Crimes Again Children (ICAC) task force had “achieved more than 300 convictions” since its inception in 2005 under former attorney general Henry McMaster.

Guess we should have checked to see whether these “convictions” were actually putting predators behind bars … because in this case that clearly didn’t happen.

Over the years it has been our privilege to know many of the people who work for the ICAC.  These are dedicated public servants who put in long, difficult hours to protect “the least of these” among us.  They see violently graphic material, horrific scenes of the sort of abuse we would never wish on anyone – let alone a child.

We wonder … would they approve of this sort of deal? 

Would they have let Peppers go free?

In recent weeks it has become readily apparent to most South Carolinians that Wilson’s war against public corruption is a sham … which is downright disappointing to those of us who put faith in his efforts.  But to see the same hypocrisy in his war against child exploitation? That’s just downright tragic …

Wilson’s ongoing refusal to do the jobs he has promised to do – that he has in fact taken credit for doing – is among the reasons we have called on him to step down.

Hopefully he will do that sooner rather than later …

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