MYRTLE BEACH — A 26-year-old Little River man was sentenced to five years in prison and three years probation after he pleaded guilty to trying to solicit a minor online and sending graphic photographs to someone he thought was 14-years-old, according to the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
Ryan Sean Bowlen, 26, pleaded guilty to criminal solicitation of a minor and attempted dissemination of obscene material to a person under 18 years of age, according to authorities.
Circuit Court Judge Edward B. Cottingham sentenced Bowlen to 10 years in prison on each offense, but suspended that sentence upon Bowlen’s service of five years in prison and three years probation. Bowlen also must register as a sex offender.
Before his guilty plea, Circuit Court Judge Michael Baxley had ordered Bowlen to serve 90 days in jail on a charge of criminal contempt of court that stemmed from an earlier bond hearing, according to officials. The 90-day sentence will run consecutively to the five years Bowlen must serve.
Authorities said Bowlen placed an ad on Craigslist.com that solicited sex from a minor. Through e-mails and text messages, Bowlen communicated with and sent graphic images to a person, who he believed was 14.
After communicating for several weeks, Bowlen traveled to meet the minor, where he was arrested, authorities said. Ginger Pop, who is with the Solicitor’s Office, investigated the case.
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