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Fanning pleads guilty, awaits completion of sentencing
0809 Brandon Fanning
Brandon Fanning

An Effingham County man who was charged with sexually abusing a minor and videotaping the incident has pled guilty to one count of sexual exploitation.

Brandon Fanning had been charged with four counts of aggravated child molestation and one count of sexual exploitation of children. Following his guilty plea Wednesday in Effingham County Superior Court, his sentencing phase was continued until Sept. 16. Assistant District Attorney Ben Edwards said the state will ask for a 20-year sentence.

Fanning, 20, was arrested August 2013 for molesting an underage boy and authorities also found videos of the acts. The videos were uncovered during a Department of Homeland Security raid on a house in Louisiana.

“They found a large amount of child pornography videos,” Edwards said, “one of which was traced back to Effingham County.”

Fanning also underwent a mental and Wednesday’s court appearance.

An Effingham County woman accused of leaving her six children at home has pled guilty to six counts of cruelty to children in the second degree.

Crystal Davis Pyles entered her plea Aug. 21, and she was sentenced to five years of probation and fined $1,800. She also has been banished from Effingham County.

Authorities accused her of leaving her children — all between the ages of 1 and 8 years old at the time — alone and unsupervised as she went out of town. She was indicted March 17 and entered a not guilty plea April 10.

Effingham grand jurors also have handed down an indictment for one count of computer pornography and one count of criminal attempt to commit child molestation to a North Charleston, S.C., man. Merle Dean Singletary was indicted Aug. 14, following his July 4 arrest.

Authorities have accused him of using the Internet to solicit an undercover officer, whom he believed to have supervision of a child with whom Singletary sought to commit illegal acts.

He also is charged with making arrangements to meet the undercover officer whom he believed had a 14-year-old child in their control.

Grand jurors also indicted Julian Coney for three counts of rape, two counts of kidnapping, one count of false imprisonment and three counts of aggravated assault for an April 8 incident in Rincon. Coney is charged with beating his victim with a belt on her legs and choking her with a belt or cord.

An Effingham County juvenile also has been indicted for two counts of child molestation and one count each of aggravated sodomy, aggravated child molestation and one count of aggravated sexual battery.