Lexington, SC 02/18/2023 - South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of Simon Manuel Gates, 29, of West Columbia on four charges connected to the sexual exploitation of minors. Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Lexington County Sheriff's Department made the arrest. Investigators with the Attorney General's Office, also a member of the state's ICAC Task Force, assisted with the investigation.
Investigators received a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) which led them to Gates. Investigators say Gates possessed files of child sexual abuse material.
Gates was arrested on February 13, 2023. He is charged with four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor third degree, a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment on each count.
This case will be prosecuted by the Attorney General's Office. Attorney General Wilson stressed all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty in a court of law.