Columbia man arrested on underage sex charges
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man Tuesday morning on suspicion of sex crimes involving an underage girl.
According to the Columbia Police Department, James Patterson, 34, befriended the victim through a Hula Hoop Club.
The victim said in January 2016, Patterson picked her up from school and drove her to a hotel near Keene Street, where he took as many as 800 photographs of her, some of them showing her in various states of undress. The victim told police she believed Patterson intended to take her senior photos.
The next day, Patterson apparently went to the victim's house and uploaded approximately 80 photos he had taken of her onto her computer so she could edit them.
CPD told KOMU that the victim's computer was recovered and a forensic examination found 104 photographs of the juvenile victim in different stages of nudity were taken in a hotel room. The photos are copyrighted and dated to January, 2016.
At the time, the victim was 16 years old.
Patterson was arrested on suspicion of possession of child pornography, sexual exploitation of a minor, and statutory rape.