A former South Carolina school teacher and youth minister pleaded guilty to operating a child porn file sharing network, according to the S.C. Attorney General’s Office.
Jerry Blaxton pleaded guilty in Spartanburg County Circuit Court last week to one count of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, the Attorney General’s Office said in a release. Circuit Court Judge Keith Kelly sentenced Blaxton to five years in prison followed by five years of sex offender probation. He also will have to register as a sex offender.
The investigation began in December 2016, when investigators identified a file sharing network and a user of the network who had made child pornography files available for download, according to the release. Investigators and Spartanburg County sheriff’s deputies searched Blaxton’s home, during which Blaxton said he was responsible for the child porn.
An examination of Blaxton’s computer turned up 180 additional files of child porn, the Attorney General’s Office said.
Blaxton was a teacher at High Point Academy in Spartanburg and a youth minister at the time of his arrest, according to the Attorney General’s Office. He initially was charged with 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, WSPA reported at the time.
Blaxton taught robotics at High Point, according to WYFF.