BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD)- A Berkeley County man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the sexual exploitation of several teenage girls.
Wesley Kendall Smith, 43, was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty to charges including sexual exploitation of a minor, criminal sexual conduct, and dissemination of obscene material to a person under 18.
According to the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office (SCAG), Smith began using multiple fake social media accounts to communicate with teenage girls in February 2020.
In one of those instances, Smith posed as a teenage boy and convinced a victim — who was previously known to him — to send him an explicit photo of herself.
After he received the image, prosecutors said Smith used another fake account and threatened to publish the photo if the victim did not allow a man, who she did not know was Smith at the time, to perform sexual acts on her.
Smith photographed himself performing sexual acts on the victim with his wedding ring and an identifiable scar visible, according to a news release.
The victim reported the incident to the St. Stephen Police Department and an investigation was opened by the attorney general’s office, during which investigators discovered an additional teenage girl to whom Smith had sent adult pornography.
Judge Deadra Jefferson sentenced Smith to 18 years in state prison for the sexual exploitation charge and two years each on the additional charges. The two-year sentences will be served concurrently but consecutively to the 18-year sentence, the AG’s Office said.
Smith will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release.