South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Assigned To Aiken County Arrested, Fired After Child Porn Investigation

Mug shot photo of 39-year-old John Lee Marshall Lillard, a South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper based in Aiken who was fired amid a child pornography investigation. (Courtesy: Aiken County Sheriff's Office)
Mug shot photo of 39-year-old John Lee Marshall Lillard, a South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper based in Aiken who was fired amid a child pornography investigation. (Courtesy: Aiken County Sheriff's Office)

Columbia, SC – WJBF News Channel 6 has learned that the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) has terminated Corporal J.M. Lillard, who was a South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper in Troop 7, Post C in Aiken.

The termination, effective August 13th was for Improper Conduct/Conduct Unbecoming a State Employee and Arrest or Indictment for Alleged Violation of Federal or State Law.

An administrative investigation by the SCDPS Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) revealed that Lillard was the subject of a child pornography investigation.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson’s Office says Lillard was arrested Wednesday in Aiken County on 14 counts connected to Sexual Exploitation of Minors.

Officials say 39-year-old John Lee Marshall Lillard was arrested by the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), which is a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. The agency was assisted by the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, and SCDPS, which are all also members of the ICAC Task Force.

Lillard is charged with ten (10) counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor Second Degree, which is a felony offense punishable by up to ten (10) years imprisonment for each count; and four (4) counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor Third Degree, which is a felony offense punishable by up to ten (10) years imprisonment on each count. Authorities say computers and related media were seized from Lillard for forensic examination.

SCDPS officials say, Lillard held a position of trust as a law enforcement officer and possessing contraband of this nature betrayed that trust, and created a situation that reflected poorly on the department and the law enforcement profession.

Cpl. Lillard had been with the South Carolina Highway Patrol since 1999. The OPR investigation into this matter is ongoing, according to officials.

The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office will prosecute this case.

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