COLUMBIA, S.C. (News Release) — Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that a Columbia man has pled guilty in a human trafficking case. It is the second human trafficking conviction under the state’s 2012 human trafficking law secured by the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, and the third overall, in the past three months.
Kristopher Block of Columbia, pled guilty on January 13, 2016 in Richland County General Sessions Court to Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor and Human Trafficking of a Minor.
The Honorable Clifton Newman sentenced Block to fifteen (15) years in prison. Once released, Block must register as a sex offender and undergo lifetime electronic monitoring.
The minor was located at a motel in Columbia with Block on December 4, 2014. He admitted taking photos of the victim and advertising her for sale on the Internet. The Richland County Sheriff’s Department conducted the investigation. The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Heather Weiss and Assistant Attorney General Kinli Abee.
On October 12, 2015, Colin Hernandez Mendez and Denicia Alfaro Lleydi were convicted of Trafficking in Persons. Both were sentenced to twelve (12) years in prison. They were the first convictions under the 2012 revised state human trafficking law, which the Attorney General’s Office championed and which the General Assembly unanimously approved. In 2015, the General Assembly amended the law to authorize the State Grand Jury to investigate human trafficking cases.
Attorney General Wilson urged South Carolinians who have seen human trafficking or anything suspicious to call local law enforcement, and the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-866-347-7888.