W. Virginia man arrested on child porn chargesafter cruise ship docks in Charleston

Eric Jason Blankenship

A 41-year-old West Virginia man was arrested on a child pornography charge Thursday when his cruise ship docked in Charleston, according to the S.C. Attorney General’s Office.

Eric Jason Blankenship of Sod is charged with one count of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. The Charleston Police Department, a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, made the arrest, according to Attorney General Alan Wilson.

Investigators looked into a report that Blankenship received child pornography, according to a Monday media release. When they learned he was on a cruise, they detained him and found multiple images containing child porn on his phone, the release states.

Blankenship has since posted $100,000 bail, according to online Charleston County jail records. He is prohibited from being near children and is not permitted to have Internet access.

The case will be prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office. Blankenship faces up to 10 years in prison.

Reach Melissa Boughton at 937-5594 or at Twitter.com/mboughtonPC.