Bluffton man pleads guilty, child sex abuse broadcast live


A Bluffton man faces 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to live-streaming a child sexual assault on Skype to a user in England, prosecutors say.

David James Allison, 32, of Bluffton, was sentenced to 30 years in the federal courthouse in Charleston on Wednesday, according to 14th Circuit District Attorney’s Office spokesman Jeff Kidd.

Last summer, Allison pleaded guilty to one count of criminal sexual conduct with a minor in the first degree and four counts of first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor in state court.

Because Allison broadcast the assault to a Skype user in England, he faced federal charges in addition to state charges for committing the sexual assault in Beaufort County, according to Kidd. The 14th Circuit district attorney’s office prosecuted the case locally.

The Skype user ordered Allison to commit sexual assault over Skype messages, the prosecutor’s office said. It wasn’t until a parent discovered the messages on Allison’s tablet in January 2020 that the abuse was reported to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, the agency said.

“These were unspeakably depraved acts against a victim who epitomizes vulnerability,” said Assistant Attorney Julie Kate Keeney, who prosecuted the state charges.

He pleaded guilty to a federal office to virtually transmit a depiction of child sexual abuse material as well.

Circuit Judge Carmen Mullen and a federal judge both sentenced him to 30 years in prison, which he will serve concurrently. Allison will go to federal prison.

A reporter left a message for his federal public defender Ann Walsh on Thursday.

According to Kidd, the Skype user in England is now facing legal action overseas.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, the Lowcountry organization Hopeful Horizons has a 24-hour helpline at (843) 770-1070. Resources are available online at www.hopefulhorizons.org.

Help can also be reached at the National Sexual Assault Hotline at (800) 656-4673.

This story was originally published April 7, 2022 2:02 p.m.

Hilton Head Island Packet Related Stories

Jake Shore is a senior writer covering breaking news for The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette. It reports on the criminal justice, police, and court systems of Beaufort and Jasper counties. Jake is from sunny California and attended school at Fordham University in New York. In 2020, Jake won the top prize for police reporting from the South Carolina Press Association.

Previous More than 3 million Filipinos out of work in February
Next hp stock price: HP shares climb 15% after Buffett reveals $4.2 billion stake