Fort Mill High student in jail, accused of showing nude photos at school

rsouthmayd@heraldonline.comDecember 4, 2013 

— A Fort Mill High School student is accused of showing nude photos and videos of a sexual act with another student at school, police say.

Brandon Joshua Mayer, 17, is charged with sexual exploitation of a minor, second and third degree, and disturbing schools, according to a Fort Mill Police report.

Police say Mayer showed pictures and video of him having sex with a girl, also 17, to “several people in a classroom at Fort Mill High School” on Nov. 13. The girl was unaware she had been videotaped.

After an investigation, Mayer turned himself in to police on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he was being held at the York County Detention Center on a $52,205 bond.

“The charge of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor 2nd Degree pertains to the distribution / exhibition of obscene material to others, and the charge of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor 3rd Degree pertains to the possession of the obscene material by the suspect himself,” Maj. Bryan R. Zachary said in a news release.

The sexual exploitation charges are both felony charges. Under South Carolina law, if convicted, the second degree exploitation charge carries a minimum two-year sentence. Mayer would also be required to register as a sex offender.

The Fort Mill High School student handbook does not list a specific punishment for this type of situation, but possession of “obscene literature/material” at school makes a student subject for suspension for the first offense and expulsion for the second offense. “Sexual harassment” and “sexual offenses” could garner suspensions, expulsion or arrests, the handbook states.

Tommy Schmolze, Fort Mill’s assistant superintendent of student services, said he could not comment on the disciplinary actions the school had taken. When asked about the gap in time between the initial reporting of the incident and the arrest, he said the school and police operate “on a different timetable” and that the application of punishment from the school may not have been as delayed as the arrest.

Coincidentally, Schmolze said, on Thursday the York County school district and law enforcement agencies will hold a news conference to discuss the dangers of “sexting,” or the sending of text messages, pictures and videos that are suggestive in nature.

“It’s unfortunate with this individual and things he has done,” Schmolze said. “But we’re trying to use it as a push to get the message to our parents.”

The districts were approached by law enforcement officials several weeks ago, he said. They were seeking help in educating young people and their families about the potential criminal ramifications of using their phone for inappropriate behavior.

“These are things that the kids use at the click of a button, but they’re not thinking about the consequences,” Schmolze said.

Rachel Southmayd •  803-329-4072

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