Hamer man speaks out after identity fraud leads to false child sex charges

Pee Dee Crime

HAMER, SC (WBTW) – A Dillon County man is speaking out after investigators say a case of identity fraud led him to be falsely charged.

“She told me the police were all over the yard and in the house,” David McLaughlin remembered. “I’m just trying to figure out why they’re there. I didn’t know what to do. I was just lost.”

McLaughlin was booked into the W. Glenn Campbell Detention Center following his arrest April 29. He was booked on several charges relating to the sexual exploitation of a minor. The state Attorney General’s office now says it is in the process of dismissing the charges after further investigation.

“They’re questioning me about the incident that’s going on and I’m constantly telling them i don’t even come to the town of Darlington,” he recalled.

Investigators say they later found that another man- Nathaniel Joe- impersonated McLaughlin online and committed the crimes.

Warrants obtained by News13 say that Joe created a fraud social media account by using McLaughlin’s photos in order to avoid identification from a law enforcement officer.

Joe is being held in the W. Glenn Campbell Detention Center. He is now the suspect in the case.

Although the charges are being dismissed, McLaughlin worries his reputation following the incident.

“I have kids that age,” he said. “I have four girls. Most of the people that know me know I wouldn’t do anything like that. But I just want the people who don’t to (know.)

He said investigators acted too soon in the arrest.

“They didn’t give me no thought or nothing. They just arrested me really,” he said.

Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators, the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office and other assisting agencies made the arrest, a news release said earlier this month.

The Darlington County Sheriff’s Office said it was Joe’s alleged identity fraud that led to the arrest. Count on News13 for updates in this case.

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