Sheriff: Man arrested on his way to have sex with 13-year-old - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Sheriff: Man arrested on his way to have sex with 13-year-old

Matthew Lynn Gardner (Source: Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office) Matthew Lynn Gardner (Source: Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office)

ORANGEBURG, SC (WIS) - A Bishopville man is under arrest accused of soliciting sex from a 13-year-old Orangeburg boy that he met at a wrestling match.

Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said 32-year-old Matthew Lynn Gardner was arrested Saturday and charged with criminal solicitation of a minor.

Ravenell said the two met at a wrestling match in August and began communicating through Facebook. Gardner eventually set up a rendezvous with the teen on October 1, but before that happened, the teen's parent contacted law enforcement, according to the sheriff. 

Investigators were able to quickly identify Gardner and were waiting for him when he arrived in Orangeburg on Saturday, the sheriff said. 

Ravenell said he's grateful the teen's parents were monitoring his communications to allow Orangeburg County investigators to be in place Saturday when Gardner arrived from Hartsville. "I cannot imagine what kind of case we would be investigating today had those parents not contacted us," Ravenell said. 

Investigators said Gardner asked for nude photos of the boy, and offered to send nude photos of himself as well. A police report describes the graphic language Gardner allegedly used in messages sent to the teen.

A judge set Gardner's bond at $35,000 during a hearing Monday afternoon in Orangeburg County.

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