Harold E. Jackson, 51, of Charleston, pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in Charleston to failure to register as a sex offender, U.S. Attorney for South Carolina Bill Nettles said.

U.S. District Judge C. Weston Houck accepted the plea and will sentence Jackson after reviewing a pre-sentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office. Jackson could be fined up to $250,000, plus a special assessment of $100, and/or sent to prison for 10 years, Nettles said.

He said evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that Jackson was sentenced in New York in 2003 following a conviction for first-degree sexual abuse, which involved a minor victim. Jackson was required to register as a sex offender and keep the registration current in any jurisdiction where he lived, worked, or attended school.

Jackson registered as a sex offender in the State of New York before being released from prison, and informed state officials he would be living in New York. On July 15, 2011, Jackson was released, and shortly thereafter moved to South Carolina without notifying New York officials that he was moving, Nettles said.

He said Jackson also failed to register as a sex offender in South Carolina.

The case was investigated by agents of the U.S. Marshals Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Dean H. Secor of the Charleston office handled the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. For more information, see www.projectsafechildhood.gov.