Crime & Courts

Lowcountry South Carolina Man Found Guilty In Child Sex Abuse Materials Case

Dorchester County jury comes back with guilty verdicts …

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A 42-year-old Ladson, South Carolina man will spend the next twenty years behind bars after a Dorchester County jury found him guilty of 17 counts of third degree sexual exploitation of a minor as the result of images he was sharing on the internet. 

John B. Johnson was charged in 2020 after an electronic service provider observed him downloading images of child sex abuse onto their platform, according to a news release from the office of S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson. That provider reported the images to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. A subsequent investigation by the attorney general’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force identified Johnson’s home on Sweet Asylum Drive in Ladson as being the source of the material.

Johnson admitted being the source of the material, but claimed it was unintentional. 

Court records show three other charges filed in Dorchester County against Johnson in June 2020 were dismissed in July 2021 — including two counts of second degree sexual exploitation of a minor and a weapons charge.

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The jury in the three-day trial returned its verdict on July 12, 2023. Johnson was represented by public defender Cameron Blazer. Assistant attorney general Stephan Ryan prosecuted the case with co-counsel assistant attorney general Bethany Miles.

Law enforcement agencies participating in the investigation and prosecution of Johnson included the attorney general’s office, the Dorchester County sheriff’s office, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Summerville police department, and North Charleston police department

After the verdict was delivered, circuit court judge Diane Goodstein sentenced Johnson “to the maximum 10 years on all counts,” according to the press release.

(Click to View)

John B. Johnson (SCDC)

Doing the math, a decade of prison time on 17 counts would seem to indicate a total of 170 years – but that is not the case.

“The court structured the sentence in a way that resulted in a 20-year active time sentence,” the release noted.

The court record further explained that Johnson was sentenced to ten years with credit for time served. This means the sentence is to be served consecutively as opposed to concurrently – as if Johnson were given two ten-year sentences.   

Johnson is being held at Kirkland Correctional Institution, an S.C. Department of Corrections (SCDC) intake center located just north of Columbia, S.C. He was entrusted to SCDC custody on July 13, 2023 after originally being taken into custody in Dorchester County.

When he is released from prison, Johnson will be required to register as a sex offender. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Callie Lyons (Provided)

Callie Lyons is a journalist, researcher, and author whose investigative work can be found in media outlets, publications, and documentaries all over the world – most recently in the Parisian newspaper Le Monde and a German documentary for ProSieben. Lyons also appears in Citizen Sleuth – a 2023 documentary exploring the genre of true crime.

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