COLUMBIA – Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that Martin Lee Dickert pleaded guilty to one count of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor – 3rd Degree and five counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor – 1st Degree on July 25, 2023 in Newberry County before the Honorable Eugene Griffith. This plea was entered after a jury was seated and after pretrial motions were heard in anticipation of a trial.
The charges go back to an incident on September 18, 2020, when Dickert was babysitting several children in Newberry County. Dickert recorded videos of a four-year-old girl’s private parts, including some in which he was touching her. In the videos, you can hear the victim’s screams and cries, and she made several attempts to push Dickert off of her as he was telling her to be quiet.
When the victim’s mother returned home, the four-year-old immediately told her mother what happened. The mother then called the Newberry County Sheriff's Office. Deputies responded and the victim gave details of what happened to the responding deputy. Additional deputies arrived and arrested Dickert.
When he was told that he was being arrested for Criminal Sexual Conduct, Dickert responded, “I was babysitting.” At that time, no one had advised him that the offense involved a child.
The victim underwent a forensic interview, during which she again disclosed the details of the offense. Dickert’s phone was located at his residence and turned over to the Whitmire Police Department. It was subsequently collected by the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office. Dickert gave investigators consent to search his cell phone and during that search, 44 images, including over 30 videos, of the victim were located. When confronted with the images, Dickert confessed that he made the recordings of the victim.
Judge Griffith sentenced Martin Dickert to 45 years in the South Carolina Department of Corrections, with 10 years to be served on the charge of Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor – 3rd Degree and seven years on each of the five counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor – 1st Degree. These sentences will all be served consecutively. Dickert consented to a permanent restraining order protecting the victim and her mother. He will be required to register as a sex offender upon his eventual release and will be subject to lifetime GPS monitoring.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Jennifer Wells and Bethany Miles. The investigation was led by Major Robert Dennis and Sergeant Casey Rembisz of the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office. Additional law enforcement who were integral to the successful resolution of this case were Deputy Devin Kingsmore, Investigator Sergeant Michael Claytor, Sergeant David Lawson, Deputy David Brandt, and Lieutenant Michael Moss. The State further thanks the rest of the prosecution team for their indispensable contributions: Glynna Fogle, Trisha Allen, and Savannah Hobbie. Finally, the State thanks the staff of the Newberry County Solicitor’s Office for their help during this case.