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Press Release

Lexington County Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison for Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Materials

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Ronnie Dawsey, Jr., 41, of Lexington, was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to distribution of child sexual abuse materials.*

Evidence presented to the court showed that on Aug. 31, 2020, Mr. Dawsey uploaded approximately seven images of child sex abuse materials to his Facebook account and subsequently sent the images to others using the Telegram application on his cell phone.

Senior United States District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie sentenced Mr. Dawsey to 240 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by a lifetime term of court-ordered supervision. There is no parole in the federal system. Mr. Dawsey was ordered to pay a total of $36,500 in restitution to seven different victims and to register as a sex offender.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the U.S. Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

This case was investigated by the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, and the Department of Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Matthews prosecuted the case.


* The term “child pornography” is currently used in federal statutes and is defined as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a person less than 18 years old. While this phrase still appears in federal law, “child sexual abuse material” is preferred, as it better reflects the abuse that is depicted in the images and videos and the resulting trauma to the child.




Veronica Hill, Public Affairs Specialist,, (803) 929-3000

Updated March 20, 2024

Project Safe Childhood