A Charleston man accused of distributing photos of himself fondling a toddler was sentenced Thursday to 18 years in prison, authorities said.

In a Charleston County court, James Madison Prevatt II, 36, of Peeks Pike, pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, firt-degree sexual eploitation of a minor, and second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, court records show.

Charleston police arrested Prevatt in June 2010. He was a bookkeeper and an organist for the Northbridge Baptist Church in West Ashley at the time of his arrest, authorities said.

Arrest affidavits alleged that Prevatt used a digital camera to take about 17 close-up photographs of a hand fondling a young child. Authorities said he sent at least one photograph to his brother in Virginia.

A woman reported to authorities that she also received an image from Prevatt of a young boy being molested. She was given the image while engaged in sexual conversations online, according to a news release from the state Attorney General's Office.

Prevatt admitted in emails to sexually abusing the 17-month-old boy, according to the release. He also admitted to taking and sending the picture, officials said.

Prevatt must register as a sex offender after completing his sentence at the state Department of Corrections, officials said.

Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at Twitter.com/celmorePC.