COLUMBIA, SC (STL.News) South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Christopher Jesus Ruiz, 19, of Batesburg, S.C., on 14 charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office made the arrest. Investigators with the S.C. Attorney General’s Office, also a member of the state’s ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.
Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Ruiz. Investigators state Ruiz distributed and possessed files of child sexual abuse material.
Ruiz was arrested on August 5, 2021. He is charged with four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, second degree (§16-15-405), a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment on each count; and 14 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, third degree (§16-15-410), a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment on each count.
This case will be prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office.
Attorney General Wilson stressed all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty in a court of law.
* 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. Globally, the term child pornography is being replaced by CSAM for this reason.