A South Carolina man who was accused of receiving nude photographs of a Pike County woman’s children pleaded guilty in federal court Friday.
During a re-arraignment hearing in U.S. District Court in Pikeville, Jonathan Edward Manigault, 34, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, pleaded guilty to one count each of production of child pornography and receiving child pornography. The guilty plea came by way of a plea agreement with the federal government.
Manigault’s co-defendent in the case, Christina Mitchell, 30, of King Camp Branch, Phelps, pleaded guilty in the case late last month. Mitchell was originally arrested June 30, 2018, during the course of an investigation by Pikeville Police Officer Tommy Fouts. Pikeville Police received complaints that Mitchell had images of one of her children in “a sexual pose” on her phone. After being informed of the complaint the night of her arrest, court documents said, Mitchell showed officers the images on the phone, and a detective wrote in the citation in the case that, there was “an image of a small child in a sexual pose.”
The investigation also led police to Manigault, who was living outside of Kentucky and who had allegedly received at least one sexually explicit image.
Both Mitchell and Manigault were eventually indicted by federal authorities and a superseding indictment was later handed down with charges related to a second child.
In Friday’s re-arraignment hearing, U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell told Manigault that he could face between 15 years 30 years in prison on the count of production of child pornography to which he pleaded guilty. Manigault was also told that he could face a sentence of between five years and 20 years in prison on the charge of receiving child pornography to which he pleaded guilty. Per the plea agreement, Manigault will have to submit to a minimum of five years of supervised release once he is released from prison and will have to register as a sex offender. Manigault will also be required to pay restitution to the victims in the case and a potential fine of up to $250,000.
Per the plea agreement, Manigault waived his right to withdraw his guilty plea, but he reserved the right to appeal any sentence which may be handed down in the case. Caldwell set sentencing in the case for 1:30 p.m. Dec. 16.