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Beaufort County Sheriff's Office
Monday September 29th, 2014 :: 01:02 p.m. EDT


Bluffton man arrested for child pornography.

BLUFFTON, SC (September 29, 2014/10:00 AM) – A Bluffton man was arrested on child pornography charges Friday afternoon following a search warrant served by Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office investigators at a Plantation Pointe apartment.

On June 30, 2014, a web based, peer-to-peer web cam program, Chatrandom, observed the streaming/broadcasting of apparent child pornography through their program by a user. A moderator captured an image from the video stream, which depicted a young female child (believed to be between 6-11 years old) engaged in a sexual act. The moderator was also able to capture the associated IP address for the video stream and forwarded all the information to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

Upon determining that the IP address belonged to Hargray Communications Group in Bluffton, a tip was generated by NCMEC and sent to the SC Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), who notified the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office. An investigation was initiated and it was determined that the IP address was assigned to an account associated with 63-year-old Stephen Arthur Coronel of Plantation Pointe apartments (897 Fording Island Rd), unit 2610.

A search warrant was secured for the unit and was executed on September 26. Upon making entry, contact was made with Coronel inside the apartment, and he was found to have four videos actively playing and/or uploading that depicted young children ranging in ages from 3-12 engaged in sexual acts. Coronel was subsequently arrested on five counts of Sexual Exploitation of Minor.

Three computers, seven external hard drives, three cell phones, and numerous media to include flash drives, CDs, and VHS tapes were collected as a result of the search warrant. Due to the large quantity of materials collected, forensic analysis of this evidence will be completed by the SC Attorney General’s Office, who will also be adopting the investigation. It has not yet been determined if Coronel was involved in the production of any of the videos seen during the preliminary review, or if any of the videos were produced locally.

Anyone with information that may assist in this investigation is encouraged to contact Investigator Sgt. A. Boland at 843-255-3707 or Crimestoppers.

MAKE THE CALL, STAY ANONYMOUS, EARN A REWARD: To report crime, citizens can call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC (274-6372) or text the word TIPSC with a message to CRIMES (274637).

Beaufort County Sheriff's Office
2001 Duke St
Beaufort, SC 29902

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 843-255-3200

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