FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — A former Florence County deputy was charged with sexual exploitation of a minor, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
Jonathon Christopher Bessenger, 24, of Florence, was arrested and charged with three counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. He was fired the day before, according to documents obtained by News13, which site the reason as “any action which reflects unfavorably on Florence County” and “immoral, unlawful or improper conduct or indecency, either on or off the job, which would tend to affect the employee’s relationship to his or her job, fellow workers, supervisor, reputation or goodwill in the community.”
In December 2021, Bessenger allegedly used Snapchat to send and receive “obscene photographs and videos,” according to warrants provided by SLED. Bessenger allegedly admitted to it on Tuesday and provided investigators with access to his phone.
Warrants also describe similar incidents in July 2020.
One of the videos received depicted “a minor child engaged in sexual activity,” according to warrants.
A SLED investigation was requested by Florence County Sheriff TJ Joye.
Bessenger is held in the Florence County Detention Center as of Wednesday afternoon, according to online booking records.
Bessenger’s training and employment history records from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy show Bessenger started with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office in January 2019.