Public news and announcements are brought to you by the Horry County Public Information Office.
Conway, South Carolina– Shane Watson, a former high school teacher with the Horry County School District, pled guilty today, Tuesday October 15, 2013, before the Honorable Edward B. Cottingham to two counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in the Third Degree and one count of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor.
Judge Cottingham sentenced Watson to ten years on each Sexual Exploitation charge and three years on the Contributing to the Delinquency charge. These sentences will run concurrently with each other. Additionally, once released from incarceration, Watson will be required to register as a Sex Offender for the remainder of his natural life.
These charges stem from late 2012 when Watson, at that time still a teacher with Horry County Schools, posed as a teenage girl on both the internet and in text messages. Watson used this false identity to communicate with, and solicit sexually explicit photos from, several thirteen to fourteen year-old boys. Watson was apprehended by law enforcement when the parents of one of the teenage boys became suspicious of text messages being sent to his son. An investigation led by Fifteenth Circuit Criminal Investigator Ginger Pop discovered that Watson was the source of these text messages. A subsequent search of Watson’s phone and computer uncovered several images known to be child pornography.
For more information, please contact Assistant Solicitor Martin Spratlin at (843) 915-5460.
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