Florence Co. investigator assists in child porn string - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Florence Co. investigator assists in child porn string

Christian Philip Hine. (Source: South Carolina Department of Corrections) Christian Philip Hine. (Source: South Carolina Department of Corrections)

FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A Florence County investigator played an integral role in a child pornography sting that led to the arrest of a York County man, and the discovery of over 700 sexually-explicit files of children.

On August 22, Christian Philip Hine pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a minor, second degree, and nine counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, third degree, according to a news release from the Florence County Sheriff’s Office.

These charges come after FCSO Investigator William Hester posed as a customer on the internet, and was sent files of child pornography from Hine on a file-sharing network in March of 2016, the release states.

In conjunction with the York County Sheriff’s Office, a search warrant was executed at Hine’s residence, and several computer items were seized, the release states. A forensic examination revealed over 700 sexually-explicit files of children that had been distributed thousands of times over a 10-year period.

For the second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor charge, Hine was sentenced to 10 years in prison, suspended upon two years active time, to be followed by three years of probation. He was sentenced to two years active time on the third-degree charges, to run concurrently with the second-degree sentence, according to officials. He also consented to the forfeiture of seized items, and will have to register as a sex offender upon his release.

“The internet is a necessary and indispensible [sic] tool for everyone these days, but it can also be a very dangerous place for children,” Sheriff Kenney Boone stated.  “We are proud to be involved in the important work of protecting our children from internet exploitation.”

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