EFFINGHAM, S.C. – A Florence County man faces up to 120 years in prison following an investigation by the Florence County Sheriff’s Office.

Matthew Duane Palmer, 37, of Effingham was arrested and booked into the Florence County Detention Center on June 20. Palmer has been charged with one count of unlawful dissemination of obscene material to a person under 18 years, one count of criminal solicitation of a minor, 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, third degree, and 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, second degree.

The maximum sentence Palmer faces, if convicted on all charges and sentenced to serve his time consecutively, is 120 years in prison.

A charge of unlawful dissemination of obscene material to a person under 18 years is a felony and carries a penalty of 10 years in prison. A charge of criminal solicitation of a minor is a felony and carries a penalty of a $5,000 fine, 10 years in prison, or both. A charge of sexual exploitation of a minor, second degree, is a felony and carries a penalty of 2-10 years in prison. The charges of sexual exploitation of a minor, third degree is a felony and carries a penalty of 10 years in prison.

According to a news release, Palmer is alleged to have solicited online a person who he believed to be a 15-year-old female to engage in a sex act with him.

In addition, from approximately June 12-18, Palmer is alleged to have had in his possession obscene material, including material containing visual representations of minors engaged in sexual activity or appearing in a state of sexually explicit nudity, and distributed those materials to underage individuals.

Palmer’s surety bond was set as $5,000 for the unlawful dissemination of obscene material to a person under 18 years, $5,000 for the one count of criminal solicitation of a minor charge, $1,500 for each charge of sexual exploitation of a minor, third degree, and $2,000 for each charge of sexual exploitation of a minor, second degree, for a total bond of $45,000.

Palmer was released from the Florence County Detention Center at 11:17 a.m. on June 22 after posting bond.

This incident remains under investigation, and additional charges might be possible.

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