Summerville, S.C. - Authorities in Dorchester County have arrested a 41-year-old Summerville man on 13 counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. Paul Ralph Thomas, Jr. was taken into custody on February 2 following a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received by investigators. The tip led authorities to Thomas, who is alleged to have distributed files of illegal material.
Thomas is facing up to 10 years in prison for each count if he is found guilty. He was released on bond after posting $65,000, with bond set at $5,000 for each charge. The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office will prosecute the case.
The arrest of Thomas sends a strong message that child exploitation will not be tolerated in Dorchester County. Authorities encourage anyone with information on any suspicious activity to contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children or local law enforcement immediately.