SALUDA COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – John Lavan Wertz, 40, of Saluda, has has been sentenced after pleading guilty to one count of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor – 2nd degree and one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor.

Wertz was sentenced to 27 years in Saluda County General Sessions Court last week.

Under South Carolina law, these offenses are classified as violent crimes and Wertz is not eligible for parole.

The Saluda County Sheriff’s Department began an investigation in June of 2021, following the discovery of video evidence related to the crime.

In addition, Wertz wrote several incriminating letters while being housed in the Saluda County Detention Center.

He’s being transferred to the South Carolina Department of Corrections to immediately begin service of his prison sentence.