Two child predators caught by SC task force plead guilty

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A task force to catch child predators netted two guilty pleas in Aiken County today.

It's a story you'll only see on News 12.

Officers posing as minors are saving real children.

Last July, the South Carolina attorney general's office started the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. They provide resources and equipment to the Aiken County Sheriff's Office and Aiken Public Safety.

Both groups have officers who pose as young children on-line. And in less than a year, two men have been caught and are away from Aiken County's children.

The story for the two predators is much the same. Both thought they were talking with a 14-year-old girl.

They both asked the girl for sex and showed up at what they thought was her home.

The catch: where they showed up was actually an undercover location for the Aiken County Sheriff's Department.

Both men were arrested, and both pleaded guilty in court.

One of the men, 58-year-old Steve Wayne Gunter, is a father of two.

In a conversation with the supposed 14-year-old, Gunter said, "Are you a virgin?"

The "14 year old" said, "Yes. Is that okay?"

And Gunter said, "Yes, that's great. Would you let me deflower you?"

After searching Gunter's home, investigators found he was having sex with a real minor, a 15-year-old girl from Sumter.

"This shows the value of our undercover work," says assistant attorney general David Stumbo. "That we're actually going online and find that there's real victims out there."

The other predator, 29-year-old Sanghoon Lee, is from South Korea. He was in the country on a student visa.

He showed up to the undercover location with beer, cigarettes and condoms.

He left in handcuffs.

These two examples are proof the attorney general's Internet Crimes Against Children program is working.

17 similar cases in South Carolina are pending; two are in Aiken County.

"As the attorney general likes to say, the predators have now become the prey," Stumbo says.

As of 4:00 this afternoon, Sang Lee was supposed to be on a flight back to South Korea.

The judge said if Lee returns to the US, he'll serve 10 years in prison.

Gunter will serve 15 years in prison.