Crime

Rock Hill man arrested for having almost 10,000 child porn photos, police say

Meet Ruger, the ‘game-changer’ dog in fight against child predators

Meet Ruger, the newest member of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Ruger can detect the chemical smell of small electronics that humans cannot, which is a ‘game-changer’ in the fight to stop child exploitation and child pornography.
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Meet Ruger, the newest member of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Ruger can detect the chemical smell of small electronics that humans cannot, which is a ‘game-changer’ in the fight to stop child exploitation and child pornography.

A Rock Hill man has been charged with having thousands of sexually explicit photos of naked children after police were alerted by an online cyber tip, deputies said.

Terry Dale Burchett, 69, was arrested Monday on 10 counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

Police found Burchett had more than 9,800 images of child pornography, said Robert Kittle, spokesman for the S.C. Attorney general’s office.

Deputies with the York County Sheriff’s Office began investigating Burchett in December, after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children sent a tip about pictures of nude children that had been uploaded to a computer in Rock Hill, according to a police incident report.

Deputies reviewed an image of a child that “contained an image of sexually explicit nudity,” which led to the larger investigation, the report stated.

In January, detectives determined that the photos had been accessed by Burchett through the Internet and then received a search warrant for his computer, the report states.

Multiple electronic devices were seized at Burchett’s home during a raid in January, police said.

After more investigation by a team of detectives led by sheriff’s office sex crimes investigator Alex Clark, Burchett was arrested Monday, said Trent Faris, spokesman for the sheriff’s office.

South Carolina law describes third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor as “material that contains a visual representation of a minor engaging in sexual activity or appearing in a state of sexually explicit nudity when a reasonable person would infer the purpose is sexual stimulation.”

Each charge carries up to 10 years for a conviction. Burchett faces up to 100 years in prison if convicted of all charges.

The case is part of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, run in South Carolina by the Attorney General’s Office.

More than 4,500 police agencies around the country, including York and Lancaster county deputies, have detectives working as part of the task force, which targets offenders involved in sex crimes against children or that involve child victims, according to the attorney general’s office.

Burchett remains in the York County jail under a $200,000 bond. A magistrate set bail at $20,000 for each charge, according to York County jail records.

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Andrew Dys covers breaking news and public safety for The Herald, where he has been a reporter and columnist since 2000. He has won 51 South Carolina Press Association awards for his coverage of crime, race, justice, and people. He is author of the book “Slice of Dys” and his work is in the U.S. Library of Congress.

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