LANCASTER, S.C. (WSPA) – A Lancaster Jury found a man guilty of human trafficking Friday, according to the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.

David Hayden, 53, a registered sex offender, picked up a 15-year-old girl who ran away from a group home in Lancaster County.

“Today, justice was served, and I hope it sends a strong message to perpetrators of child sex trafficking in South Carolina,” said Attorney General Alan Wilson. “The prosecutors in my office will not hesitate to ensure these predators are held accountable, the victims’ stories are heard, and our communities are safer. I want to commend Heather Weiss and Jerrod Fussnecker and everyone else who worked tirelessly to bring this case to justice.”

Hayden was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

This is the first jury trial conviction for human trafficking in the state since South Carolina passed its human trafficking law in 2012, with amendments in 2018.