COLUMBIA, S.C. (WJBF) — According to the District of South Carolina United States Attorney’s Office, an Augusta man has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to enticement of a minor for sexual activity.

According to authorities, Derek Jerome Nelson, 33, of Augusta, Georgia – who was 30 at the time – enticed a 13 year old minor girl into sexual conduct in June and July of 2019.

According to the evidence that was presented to the court, Nelson would meet the victim through a social media application, communicate with her by text message, and then they moved the communications to an end-to-end encrypted chat and an internet-based cell phone application. 

Authorities state that through the application, Nelson engaged in sexually explicit conversations with the minor and arranged travel from Augusta, Georgia to Columbia, South Carolina to exploit the minor.

According to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, on July 7th, 2019 around 3 A.M., a patrol deputy noticed a vehicle parked at a vacant business, and when the deputy approached, he saw Nelson and the victim in the back seat.

The deputy says, then, Nelson climbed in the driver’s seat, and after ignoring the commands of the officer, he fled the scene taking the police on a 2-mile car chase at speeds as high as 90 miles per hour.

According to authorities, the 13-year-old victim was thrown from the car during the chase, which the evidence showed that Nelson made her jump against her will, and as a result, the minor suffered severe injuries that required emergency treatment.

After being arrested, deputies say that Nelson admitted that he engaged in sexual contact with the minor, and deputies also say that sexually explicit images, videos, and messages sent between them, including a video of Nelson abusing the minor, was found on Nelson’s phone.

Authorities say that the evidence revealed that Nelson knew that the victim was 13 years old before the night of his arrest.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Nelson has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison, and he will receive a lifetime of court-ordered supervision and will have to register as a sex offender after release.