Phone searches for an age of consent map, if children lie about being molested, and the quality of South Carolina prisons helped tie a 21-year-old man to the sexual assault of an 8-year-old.
Now, Joshua Neilson, of Surfside Beach, will spend 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree criminal sexual conduct.
When he was arrested, Nelson admitted to performing sex acts on the child, said he loved the 8-year-old girl and thought of the two in a relationship, according to a 15th Judicial Solicitor's Office news release on Tuesday.
The victim's mother learned of the incidents in a diary entry by the girl that stated Neilson tried to have sex with her, according to the solicitor. In a forensic interview, the child revealed accounts of sexual contact with Neilson.
During the investigation, police searched Neilson's phone records and they contained explicit notes to the girl, according to the solicitor. He also had internet searches for an age of consent map, the age of consent in Mexico, reporting rape, South Carolina sentencing guidelines, the quality of prisons, asking if kids would lie about being molested, what to do if your child is molested and other topics.
Horry County Circuit Court Judge sentenced Neilson to 20 years in prison, but suspended it for 15 years in prison and five years probation. The sentence was handed down in late March.