Three men from the Grand Strand are among suspects set to be sentenced in a federal child sex trafficking case on Thursday.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said 36-year-old Theodore Bye, 28-year-old Sanadin Elrayes and 44-year-old Charles Joseph Spillane are among those set to be sentenced after pleading guilty in the case. The three were indicted by a federal grand jury last July along with 25-year-old Hart Grow, of Surprise, Arizona.
Officials said Bye and Spillane are from Myrtle Beach, while Elrayes is from Surfside Beach.
Prosecutors said Bye worked with Grow to groom children online to make pornography since at least April 2020. According to the 2021 indictment, Grow created an online persona from his home in Arizona, posing as a 17-year-old girl from Columbia.
He then groomed one victim to fall in love with the persona, requiring them to often engage in “often-violent sexual acts with adult men that the victim did not otherwise wish to engage with.”
Prosecutors also said Bye participated in sexual acts with the victim and also made them available for sex on other occasions with men across Myrtle Beach.
Documents also show Elrayes and Spillane also participated in the scheme – responding to Bye’s internet postings and engaging in “sexually explicit conduct with the minor for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of the acts.”
The attorney’s office also said that the case involved one victim being taken from her parents’ home to perform sex acts, and another being coerced into performing sex acts with her parents and other family members in the other room. In addition, prosecutors found video and communication with at least 23 other minors in connection to the case.
Bye and Grow each face a maximum sentence of life in prison, while Elrayes and Spillane could each face up to five years in prison.