Fmr. deputy pleads guilty after child porn investigation

Christopher Wilbanks (Source: Greenville County Detention Center)

GREENVILLE Co., S.C. (WSPA) — A former Spartanburg Co. sheriff’s deputy has pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a minor.

Chris Wilbanks was fired and arrested in February after he was accused of using a social media app to communicate with an 11-year-old girl in the state of Washington.

The Department of Homeland Security arrested Wilbanks as part of an ongoing investigation into child pornography, according to the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office.

A prosecutor said in court that Wilbanks tried to get pictures from the girl between January 2 and 4.

Investigators say Wilbanks used the name “Redneck Rick” on an App called KiK – claiming to be a 14-year-old boy in the girl’s class and asking for nude pictures and later threatening to share the photos if she didn’t send more.

The girl was crying or appeared upset in several photos, according to court documents.

Authorities say Wilbanks communicated with the girl on KiK while he was on the job.

He has not been sentenced yet.

Related: Upstate deputy arrested in child porn investigation