LOWCOUNTRY MAN ACCUSED OF UPLOADING CHILD SEX ABUSE IMAGES TO THE INTERNET
December 11, 2020
Live 5 News
BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Lowcountry deputies are seeking information after they arrested a man accused of uploading child sex abuse images to the internet.
The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office arrested 54-year-old Howard Earl Shappee of Bluffton on four counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.
His arrest stems from an investigation which started when the sheriff’s office received information from the attorney general’s office Internet Crimes Against Children program regarding someone uploading child sexual abuse images to the internet from an electronic device in Beaufort County.
Authorities say an investigation revealed that Shappee had uploaded the images. Investigators then obtained a warrant, searched his home, and seized computers and electronic devices used to upload the images.
Shappee was arrested Friday morning by the sheriff’s office in coordination with Homeland Security Investigations and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. He was transported and booked into the Beaufort County Detention Center on Friday afternoon.
“He has yet to receive a bond hearing for the four charges and, as of the time of this advisory, remains incarcerated,” the sheriff’s office said.
Authorities will do an in-depth forensic examination of the confiscated electronics which they say may lead to more charges.
The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office will prosecute Shappee for all criminal charges stemming from the investigation.
Message from Executive Director Laura A. Ahearn: Please visit our website at www.crimevictimscenter.org for news, information and resources in your community.