Pee Dee Mental Health Center employee arrested for allegedly sen - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Pee Dee Mental Health Center employee arrested for allegedly sending child porn

Lentheus McAlister was taken into custody by the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. | Florence County Sheriff's Office Lentheus McAlister was taken into custody by the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. | Florence County Sheriff's Office

COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) - A Pee Dee Mental Health Center counselor was arrested after being accused of sending child pornography. Officials from the facility released a statement saying there is no indication that the employee's crimes involved any patients at the mental health center. 

Lentheus McAlister of Florence, was taken into custody by the Florence County Sheriff's Office, a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. He was arrested on nine counts involving the sexual exploitation of a minor, said South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson.

The following statement was released from Pee Dee Mental Health officials: 

We are aware of the arrest of a Pee Dee CMHC counselor, and the nature of the charges against him. At this time we do not have any information that would indicate that the alleged misconduct involved any patients of the Mental Health Center. However, the Department of Mental Health is assisting Center management conduct an internal review of the matter. The safety of our patients is our primary concern. For that reason, the employee is not working and his continued employment status is under review.

Investigators say McAlister was involved in sending child pornography via file sharing.

A search warrant was obtained and executed at McAlister's residence April 21. Computer equipment was discovered which contained child pornography.

The charges McAlister faces are a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment on each count.

The case will be prosecuted by the Attorney General's Office.

McAlister was released on a $5,000 surety bond on Wednesday.

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