April 17, 2024

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HSI Charleston investigation lands former West Virginia elementary school counselor 25 years in prison for child exploitation crimes

4 min read
HSI Charleston investigation lands former West Virginia elementary school counselor 25 years in prison for child exploitation crimes

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An investigation led by Homeland Safety Investigations Charleston, generally named HSI Charleston, resulted in a 25-calendar year prison sentence followed by a lifetime of supervised release for an Elkview, West Virginia guy. Todd Christopher Roatsey, 43, a former counselor at Pinch Elementary University in Kanawha County obtained the prolonged sentence Monday for tried manufacturing of kid pornography and tried enticement of a slight. Roatsey ought to also spend $23,000 in restitution to his victims and register as a sex offender.

According the HSI-led investigation and statements created in court, commencing in January 2020, Roatsey communicated via Snapchat with one particular lady he believed to be 16 a long time old and a 2nd woman he also believed to be a minimal.

Roatsey admitted that he posed as an 18-calendar year-previous boy although persuading each and every victim to report and ship him many sexually express movies that depicted them masturbating. Roatsey further more admitted that he sent both equally women videos of himself masturbating.

“Today’s sentencing is reflective of just how despicable and harming Todd Roatsey’s crimes from children are and emphasizes HSI’s perseverance to holding perpetrators accountable,” claimed Derek W. Gordon, acting distinctive agent in demand of HSI Washington. “HSI will do all we can to avoid any crime in opposition to kids from likely unpunished. HSI remains dedicated to safeguarding our most vulnerable population from sexual predators who seek out to choose advantage of their innocence.”

Roatsey also employed this Snapchat account to communicate with numerous small ladies he realized by way of his situation as an elementary school counselor. These communications bundled much more than 100 Snapchat films that Roatsey recorded even though communicating with two minor women, every single approximately 12 years previous. One particular was a scholar at Pinch Elementary at the time.

In the course of these discussions, Roatsey been given numerous video clips of the insignificant women accomplishing what he identified as “sexy” dance routines or gymnastics poses this kind of as complete backbends. The small ladies usually wore only sports activities bras and shorts in these videos. Roatsey admitted to responding to these video clips by telling the small females they were “hot” and “sexy.”

The Courtroom observed Roatsey had prompted “incalculable damage” to his victims.

“As an elementary university counselor, Roatsey intentionally placed himself in a posture of belief more than the varieties of young children to whom he was sexually captivated,” explained United States Legal professional Will Thompson. “In our communities, educational institutions are the only continuous for a great deal of small children. A great deal of the time, college is the secure area. The point that Mr. Roatsey designed this not a risk-free location was, I obtain, to be pretty horrific.”

Roatsey even further admitted to distributing, receiving, possessing and accessing youngster pornography, such as pictures and video clips depicting infants and toddlers, by a wide range of media in between at minimum October 9, 2019, via July 16, 2021. Roatsey possessed child pornography on units seized from his home, such as his mobile cellular phone, and on the encrypted cloud-centered file storage company Mega. Making use of both equally Mega and the messaging application Kik, Roatsey dispersed different photographs and movies of prepubescent minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct to other men and women.

On Oct 28, 2021, Particular Agents from HSI Charleston executed a research warrant at Roatsey’s residence and seized numerous electronic devices identified to have boy or girl pornography.

Roatsey admitted that several several hours right after legislation enforcement completed the lookup and still left his home, he deleted the Snapchat account he employed to engage in these actions. By deleting the account, Roatsey obstructed justice by building several Snapchat records inaccessible to law enforcement and unavailable for any subsequent federal prosecution.

This investigation was led by HSI Charleston with major aid from the West Virginia State Police and the U.S. Attorney’s Workplace for the Southern District of West Virginia.

Senior United States District Choose John T. Copenhaver Jr. imposed the sentence. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Rada Herrald prosecuted the circumstance.

HSI encourages customers of the public to report suspected criminal offense and any suspicious action in your community by way of its toll-totally free tip line at 866-347-2423. This cell phone line is staffed all over the clock. From exterior the United States and Canada, dial 802-872-6199. Listening to impaired people may possibly simply call TTY 802-872-6196.

This situation was prosecuted as component of Job Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative of the Section of Justice to combat the expanding epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States attorney’s workplaces and the Criminal Division’s Baby Exploitation and Obscenity Area, Project Protected Childhood marshals federal, condition and neighborhood sources to track down, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit youngsters, and to recognize and rescue victims.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Office of Homeland Security, accountable for investigating transnational crime and threats, specially those prison organizations that exploit the worldwide infrastructure by means of which global trade, travel and finance shift. HSI’s workforce of about 10,400 staff members consists of additional than 6,800 specific agents assigned to 225 towns through the United States, and 93 abroad locations in 56 international locations. HSI’s intercontinental presence signifies the Division of Homeland Security’s largest investigative law enforcement existence abroad and a single of the biggest international footprints in U.S. legislation enforcement.

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