24-year-old former Florence County deputy accused of sexual exploitation of a minor has been arrested and charged, SLED confirms

Florence, South Carolina – South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) confirmed that a former Florence County deputy, accused of sexual exploitation of a minor, has been arrested.

According to the SLED’s release, the ex-deputy, the 24-year-old Jonathon Christopher Bessenger, is accused of the sexual abuse, an incident that allegedly happened on Dec. 15, 2021. The identity of the minor was not released for the public.

The warrants said he used Snapchat to participate in a “chat” where Bessenger received and distributed “obscene photographs and videos” and received a video depicting a minor engaged in sexual activity.

When he was initially questioned by the authorities, Bessenger admitted to possess a video depicting a child engaged in sexual activity. SLED added that the suspect was cooperative and gave the authorities access to search his phone.

The investigation was requested by the Florence County Sheriff T.J. Joye.

Bessenger is charged with three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, 2nd degree.

Bessenger was held at the Florence County Detention Center.

SLED didn’t provide more information about the case immediately. Once there are more details, we will update the case.

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Alex Tuhell

Co-founder and publisher

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