SC man who had over 500K photos, nearly 9K videos of child sex abuse sentenced to 20 years

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the sexual exploitation of minors and voyeurism.

Mark Ehrnschwender (courtesy of the York County Sheriff’s Office)

State Attorney General Alan Wilson, in a news release Tuesday, said Mark Steven Ehrnschwender, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, one count of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and four counts of voyeurism.

In September 2018, an investigator in Wilson’s office, Kevin Atkins, started an investigation after an online user sent him sexually explicit files of children. He said his investigation traced the user sharing the material to a home in York County. The next month, a search warrant for Ehrnschwender’s home was authorized, authorities said.

Wilson said a number of computer and digital-related devices were seized, and later examined. Investigator Chris Bomar said their office found 501,263 photos and 8,907 videos of child sexual abuse material on the devices. Law enforcement also uncovered more than 7,500 voyeuristic videos that the suspect allegedly recorded, Wilson said.

Wilson said the investigation revealed that Ehrschwender had placed hidden cameras in his bathrooms and he secretly recorded friends and family members over at least an eight-year span.

Judge Daniel Dewitt Hall sentenced Ehrnschwender to 10 years each on the sexual exploitation of a minor charges and three years on each of the voyeurism charges, to run concurrent with the 20 years on the other charges. He also had to forfeit his computer and digital devices and will have to register as a sex offender.

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