Crime & Courts

South Carolina Teacher Arrested

North Augusta High School teacher charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor …

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A high school teacher in Aiken, South Carolina was arrested this week and charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, according to court records obtained by this media outlet.

Charles Richard Wilson, 58, of Aiken, S.C. is – or was – a geography teacher at North Augusta High School. As of this writing, however, his biographical page has been removed from the school website and replaced by an “inactive or protected” message.

Wilson started teaching at North Augusta in March of 2023. According to his since-scrubbed bio, he originally taught social studies at the school – but more recently has taught geography to ninth grade students.

Wilson was booked at the Aiken County detention center on Wednesday. He was granted a $4,000 surety bond by magistrate judge Lauren Maurice. His first court appearance on the charges he is facing has been scheduled for July 12, 2024.

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Wilson’s case will be prosecuted by the office of S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson. According to a news release from the attorney general, Charles Wilson was arrested by investigators with the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force and officers of the Aiken Department of Public Safety (ADPS).

“Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children which led them to Wilson,” the attorney general’s office noted. “Investigators state Wilson distributed files of child sexual abuse material.”

According to Wilson’s office, the term child sexual abuse material, or CSAM, “is a more accurate reflection of the material involved in these heinous and abusive crimes.”

“‘Pornography’ can imply the child was a consenting participant,” the release noted. “Globally, the term child pornography is being replaced by CSAM for this reason.”

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Wilson is accused of violating S.C. Code of Laws § 16-15-405, which applies to any individual who “records, photographs, films, develops, duplicates, produces, or creates digital electronic file material that contains a visual representation of a minor engaged in sexual activity or appearing in a state of sexually explicit nudity when a reasonable person would infer the purpose is sexual stimulation.”

The statute – which is a felony – also applies to any individual who “distributes, transports, exhibits, receives, sells, purchases, exchanges, or solicits” such material. If convicted, Wilson could face up to ten years in prison on each count. The statute also calls for a mandatory minimum sentence of two years.

“No part of the minimum sentence may be suspended nor is the individual convicted eligible for parole until he has served the minimum sentence,” the code section noted.

As with anyone accused of committing any crime, Wilson is considered innocent until proven guilty by our criminal justice system – or until such time as he may wish to enter some form of allocution in connection with a plea agreement with prosecutors related to any of the charges filed against him.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Travis Bell Photography)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina and before that he was a bass guitarist and dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and eight children.

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1 comment

SubZeroIQ May 23, 2024 at 6:15 pm

Not at all condoning any abuse of children; but that statute is stupidly worded.
If a parent photographs a child in the process of being potty-trained, will the parent and everyone who touches or looks at that photo be subject to a mandatory two-year minimum?
What if you visit Brussels, Belgium, and you photograph its landmark “mannequin pisse” and bring it home to South Carolina, are you subject to the two-year mandatory minimum?
The stupid drafting is a Talibanization of South Carolina.
Under another statute, a breast-feeding mother may be arrested and tried and required to prove that it was “medically necessary” for her to put her nipple in the baby’s mouth?
Frankly, I think FAILURE to breastfeed a newborn, in the absence of the few GENUINE contra-indications to breastfeeding, is the REAL child abuse.
All I am saying is that statutes should be better drafted.
After all, Hatchet-for-Hire Heather (Sara Heather Savitz Weiss) prosecuted ME for looking out of my own window when my then-neighbor was causing a commotion in the joint parking lot under my window. Hatchet-for-Hire Heather called it “unwanted visual contact” and “surveillance,” which is criminalized by South Carolina’s harassment and stalking statute, which in turn had been called “a study in bad drafting” in a law article by a now-retired South Carolina Law School professor.
When I tried to challenge the facial constitutionality of that statute, then-South-Carolina-Chief-Justice Jean Toal had then-South-Carolina-Circuit-Judge J. Michelle Childs ghost-write an order to the effect that I, out of all people, may not challenge a statute before that court without a lawyer.
That stupid statute and many others remain on the books because these statutes are written by staffers who do not know the difference between “its” and “it’s,” do not know the rule of the last antecedent, and do not know what an “Oxford comma” is.
The statutes are also interpreted by judges ignorant of a basic rule of separation of powers: the judiciary cannot act without a case or controversy.
Again, be careful how you draft those statutes.

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