South Carolina man accused of trying to entice Kentucky 13-year-old

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced Wednesday  a 40-year-old South Carolina man was sentenced to nearly seven years in federal prison for the exploitation of a Kentucky child.

Nathan Branham, of Cheraw, South Carolina, pleaded guilty to transferring obscene material to a minor and having his federal supervised release revoked.

Branham’s arrest resulted from an investigation led by Attorney General Cameron’s Cyber Crimes Unit and Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force, in partnership with the United States Secret Service, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson’s Office, and the Office of Acting United States Attorney for the District of South Carolina M. Rhett DeHart.  Assistant United States Attorney Derek A. Shoemake prosecuted the case.

“Child predators do not operate within state lines, and our partnerships with state and federal law enforcement enable us to investigate and apprehend those who carry out these terrible crimes, regardless of their location,” said Cameron.  “The quick work of our ICAC task force, alongside the U.S. Secret Service, Attorney General Wilson’s Office, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina, was instrumental in stopping this perpetrator, and I’m grateful for their partnership.”

“This case illustrates the importance of each state having an Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and for states to work together to fight this horrible crime,” said Wilson.“Predators are glad to cross state lines to harm our children so it’s crucial that we work together to stop them. I want to thank our partners in Kentucky and at the federal level for putting this criminal behind bars.”

In May 2020, a Kentucky mother reached out to the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office regarding Branham’s contact with her 13-year-old daughter online.

Branham used the screenname “Mystic” to communicate with the young girl on UpLive, an online livestreaming platform.  During the course of the conversation, “Mystic” convinced her that he was a 16-year-old boy and asked that she contact him via video call using Google Duo.

Once the two were connected using the video call app, the 13-year-old immediately realized that “Mystic” was an adult male and ended the call.

Branham continued to contact her and threatened to use her phone number to find her location if she did not contact him again.

When she complied, he told her to expose herself, and he exposed himself.  The 13-year-old immediately reported the incident to her mother, who contacted the Attorney General’s Department of Criminal Investigations and spoke with detective Heather D’Hondt.

“The United States Secret Service is honored to work with our state, local, and federal law enforcement partners to fight against child predators,” said Special Agent in Charge of the Louisville field office Robert Holman.  “Today’s announcement serves as a reminder that the law enforcement community remains committed to utilizing all of our capabilities to bring these criminals to justice and to protect our children.”

“This office will always protect children, and will act swiftly to prosecute those who seek to do them harm,” said DeHart. “I commend the excellent work by the Secret Service and our law enforcement partners in Kentucky and South Carolina. They moved quickly to identify and arrest a repeat offender who was operating across state lines. Our communities are safer because of their work.”

Senior United States District Judge Terry L. Wooten sentenced Branham to 21 months in federal prison for violating his federal supervised release. United States District Court Judge Sherri A. Lydon sentenced Branham to 60 months in federal prison for transferring obscene material to a minor.

Judge Lydon ordered the 60-month sentence run consecutively with the sentence imposed by Judge Wooten, to be followed by a three-year term of court-ordered supervision.

ORIGINAL STORY POSTED MAY 27, 2020

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – A 39-year-old South Carolina man with a prior record of sex-related offenses is arrested for trying to entice a 13-year-old Kentucky girl for sexual purposes.

Nathan Branham, of Cheraw, S.C., was arrested as part of a multi-state investigation that began in early May when the girl realized the man was an adult and told her mother. The mother contacted investigators, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said.

Branham is charged with charged with online enticement of a minor and transferring obscene material to a minor.

According to Cameron, Branham used the screenname Mystic to communicate with the young girl on UpLive, an online livestreaming platform. During the course of the conversation, Mystic convinced her that he was a 16-year-old boy and asked that she contact him via video call using Google Duo.

Once the two were connected using the video call app, the 13-year-old immediately realized that Mystic was an adult male and ended the call.

Branham continued to contact her and threatened to use her phone number to find her location if she did not contact him again. When she complied, he told her to expose herself, and he exposed himself.

The 13-year-old immediately reported the incident to her mother, who contacted the Attorney Generals Department of Criminal Investigations and spoke with investigator Heather DHondt.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron today announced that an investigation by the Department of Criminal Investigations Cyber Crimes Unit in partnership with the United States Secret Service, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilsons Office, and United States Attorney Peter McCoy, Jr., has led to the arrest of a South Carolina man. Nathan Branham, 39, of Cheraw, South Carolina, is charged with online enticement of a minor and transferring obscene material to a minor.

State investigators worked the United States Secret Service to investigate the case with the support of the South Carolina Attorney Generals Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Derek A. Shoemake, Assistant United States Attorney.

Branham had a detention hearing Tuesday in United States District Court. Testimony revealed Branham engaged in similar interactions with minors on more than 30 occasions. He also has previous convictions for indecent exposure, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, and being a felon in possession of a firearm, Cameron said.

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