A former officer of the Pickens, South Carolina police department is facing multiple charges in connection with “illicit sexual activities involving minors,” according to a news release from the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED).
According to arrest warrants issued by the statewide agency, 28-year-old Akiel Jamar McKnight stands accused of a variety of offenses including the alleged solicitation of materials “that contained a visual representation of a minor victim … engaged in sexual activity or appearing in a state of sexually explicit nudity.”
Warrants also accuse McKnight of contacting at least one of his alleged marks “with the intent of persuading, inducing, enticing or coercing the minor victim … to engage in sexual activity.” Law enforcement sources confirmed there were “multiple victims” in the McKnight case.
McKnight has been charged with one count of misconduct in office, three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of criminal solicitation of a minor related to the alleged acts – which are said to have taken place between October of 2017 and November of last year.
Because McKnight was employed until May 2018 as an officer of the Pickens police department, he is facing a misconduct charge for failing to “properly and faithfully discharge his duties.”
Here is the SLED news release and accompanying warrants …
As with any individual accused of any crime, McKnight should be considered innocent until proven guilty by our criminal justice system – or until such a time as he may issue a pleading in connection with any of the charges filed against him.
The investigation into McKnight was conducted by SLED at the request of the Pickens police department. Upon arrest, McKnight was booked at the Pickens County detention center.
Barring any unforeseen conflict, his case will be handled by the office of S.C. thirteenth circuit solicitor Walt Wilkins.
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