NEWBERRY — A sexual predator was sentenced to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty in Newberry County General Sessions Court this week.
Court officials had selected a jury to hear the case against Harold Ruben Ayton, 32, of Columbia, when he decided to plead guilty to two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 11 and sexual exploitation of a minor. Both charges were first degree offenses or the most serious.
In the spring and summer of 2010 Ayton set up a phone and videoed himself having sex with a young child, according to Newberry Police Captain Kevin Atkins.
While Atkins will not reveal the age of the child he say they were under 11 and it was not a random act.
Ayton was also charged with similar crimes in Richland County and was on the sex offender register for two previous offenses in Florida, said Atkins.
On the two counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 11, Ayton was sentenced to 35 years concurrently on each charge. He was also sentenced to an additional consecutive five years on the sexual exploitation charge.
Atkins said Ayton will be required to serve the entire 35 year sentence and then 85 percent of the 5 year sentence,which will equal about 38 years in prison.
The case was handled by the S.C. Attorney General’s Office.