West Columbia Police Officer Arrested on Federal Sex Crime Charges

West Columbia Police Officer Fired, Arrested on Federal Sex Crime Charges

Federal Sex Crime chargesA former police officer for West Columbia has been fired, and arrested on federal sex crime charges for sending explicit pictures of himself to a 13-year-old girl in Iowa.

Andrew Alan Haney, 30, has been charged with interstate commerce of obscene material to a person under 16. He will appear in a Richland Count courtroom on Thursday, October 10th.

A criminal complaint from the Southern District of Iowa alleged that Haney was involved in chatting with a 13 year old girl in Polk County, between September 22nd and 28th. During that time, Haney reportedly asked the girl for photos, and she sent him several of herself in her underwear. Haney sent several explicit photos of himself in return.

The Pleasant Hill, Iowa officer who sent the report to South Carolina said he was led to Haney by the content of the photos the former police officer sent. In one photo, Haney’s badge with the state seal of South Carolina was clearly visible. In another photo, West Columbia Police was visible on the side of Haney’s patrol car. After speaking with Sheriff Tyndall in West Columbia, Haney was arrested by US Marshalls on federal sex crime charges.

On Tuesday, October 8th, Haney was officially fired.

“It hurts bad. It just breaks your heart,” Deputy Police Chief Matt Edwards said of dealing with such cases.

Sheriff Tyndall said the situation was an “embarrassment” to the department. Haney reportedly graduated from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy in May 2012.

He is in the Lexington County Detention Center waiting his Thursday bond hearing.

Federal Sex Crimes Defense

Often times an arrest for criminal solicitation of a minor is tied to an online chatroom.  A  Federal Agent, pretending to be underage, may participate in a discussion of a sexual nature and offer to send or receive pornographic images or even meet in person. This can lead to federal sex crime charges, especially when the discussion technically occurs across state lines.

Whether you are charged with criminal solicitation of a minor or posession or distribution of  child pornography, there are several common defenses:

  • Did you intentionally offer to send or request illegal pictures or video?
  • Was it actually the Defendant who usd the computer?
  • Entrapment

Everyone, including tweens and teens, carries a cell phone these days.  Combined with the recent trend of sending racy pictures, there is a new area of potential liability for child pornography.  While interpretive case law is not completely clear yet, under existing law, it remains illegal to send or receive child pornography including nude pictures shared between minors.

The Strom Law Firm Helps Defend Federal Sex Crime Charges

Whether you have been charged with

The federal sex crime defense attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC provide experienced and effective legal representation.  We understand that you are faced with a personal and professional crisis and that your personal and professional reputation and future are at stake. We offer  free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Do not hesitate to contact us today. 803.252.4800