Midlands business owner charged with having child pornography

SUMTER COUNTY, SC (WIS) - A Sumter business owner who is a convicted sexual offender has been charged with sexually exploiting a minor.

59-year-old Rick Granger was arrested Monday after searches of his business, Rick's Auto Upholstery at 2015 North Main Street, and his home at 2600 Lot #1B Lowder Road turned up evidence of child pornography, according to Sheriff Anthony Dennis.

Members of the Sumter County Drug Unit and Attorney General Internet Crimes Against Children's Task Force conducted the Valentine's Day search after a 2-week investigation.

Granger was charged with 11 counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor. Investigators say he had graphic digital photographs and/or videos depicting children in a sexual nature. Granger's computers were seized for forensic examination.

Evidence was turned over to the Attorney General Forensic Examiner for further analysis. Dennis said more charges are possible.

Granger is listed on the Sex Offender registry for two unrelated convictions, Sexual Battery on a female victim under the age of 14 in 1985 and Possession of Child Pornography in 1999.

A judge granted Granger $330,000 bond Tuesday, but he remains in custody in the Sumter-Lee Detention Center.

If convicted, Granger could be sentenced to up to ten years imprisonment on each count.

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