CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An investigation led by Homeland Safety Investigations Charleston, generally referred to as HSI Charleston, resulted in a 25-year jail sentence adopted by a lifetime of supervised launch for an Elkview, West Virginia man. Todd Christopher Roatsey, 43, a former counselor at Pinch Elementary Faculty in Kanawha County acquired the prolonged sentence Monday for tried manufacturing of kid pornography and tried enticement of a minor. Roatsey should additionally pay $23,000 in restitution to his victims and register as a intercourse offender.
In accordance the HSI-led investigation and statements made in court docket, starting in January 2020, Roatsey communicated through Snapchat with one woman he believed to be 16 years previous and a second feminine he additionally believed to be a minor.
Roatsey admitted that he posed as an 18-year-old boy whereas persuading every sufferer to file and ship him quite a few sexually specific movies that depicted them masturbating. Roatsey additional admitted that he despatched each women movies of himself masturbating.
“Right this moment’s sentencing is reflective of simply how despicable and damaging Todd Roatsey’s crimes in opposition to kids are and emphasizes HSI’s dedication to holding perpetrators accountable,” stated Derek W. Gordon, appearing particular agent accountable for HSI Washington. “HSI will do all we are able to to forestall any crime in opposition to kids from going unpunished. HSI stays devoted to defending our most weak inhabitants in opposition to sexual predators who search to make the most of their innocence.”
Roatsey additionally used this Snapchat account to speak with a number of minor females he knew by his place as an elementary faculty counselor. These communications included greater than 100 Snapchat movies that Roatsey recorded whereas speaking with two minor females, every roughly 12 years previous. One was a pupil at Pinch Elementary on the time.
Throughout these conversations, Roatsey acquired quite a few movies of the minor females doing what he referred to as “horny” dance routines or gymnastics poses resembling full backbends. The minor females typically wore solely sports activities bras and shorts in these movies. Roatsey admitted to responding to those movies by telling the minor females they have been “scorching” and “horny.”
The Courtroom discovered Roatsey had induced “incalculable injury” to his victims.
“As an elementary faculty counselor, Roatsey deliberately positioned himself ready of belief over the sorts of youngsters to whom he was sexually attracted,” stated United States Legal professional Will Thompson. “In our communities, faculties are the one fixed for lots of youngsters. Quite a lot of the time, faculty is the protected place. The truth that Mr. Roatsey made this not a protected place was, I discover, to be very horrific.”
Roatsey additional admitted to distributing, receiving, possessing and accessing little one pornography, together with photographs and movies depicting infants and toddlers, by quite a lot of media between not less than October 9, 2019, by July 16, 2021. Roatsey possessed little one pornography on units seized from his residence, together with his cellular phone, and on the encrypted cloud-based file storage service Mega. Utilizing each Mega and the messaging software Kik, Roatsey distributed varied photographs and movies of prepubescent minors engaged in sexually specific conduct to different people.
On October 28, 2021, Particular Brokers from HSI Charleston executed a search warrant at Roatsey’s residence and seized quite a few digital units discovered to comprise little one pornography.
Roatsey admitted that a number of hours after regulation enforcement accomplished the search and left his residence, he deleted the Snapchat account he used to interact in these actions. By deleting the account, Roatsey obstructed justice by making varied Snapchat data inaccessible to regulation enforcement and unavailable for any subsequent federal prosecution.
This investigation was led by HSI Charleston with important help from the West Virginia State Police and the U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace for the Southern District of West Virginia.
Senior United States District Choose John T. Copenhaver Jr. imposed the sentence. Assistant United States Legal professional Jennifer Rada Herrald prosecuted the case.
HSI encourages members of the general public to report suspected crime and any suspicious exercise in your neighborhood by its toll-free tip line at 866-347-2423. This telephone line is staffed across the clock. From outdoors america and Canada, dial 802-872-6199. Listening to impaired customers could name TTY 802-872-6196.
This case was prosecuted as a part of Undertaking Secure Childhood, a nationwide initiative of the Division of Justice to fight the rising epidemic of kid sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by america legal professional’s places of work and the Prison Division’s Little one Exploitation and Obscenity Part, Undertaking Secure Childhood marshals federal, state and native sources to find, apprehend and prosecute those that sexually exploit kids, and to determine and rescue victims.
HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Division of Homeland Safety, liable for investigating transnational crime and threats, particularly these prison organizations that exploit the worldwide infrastructure by which worldwide commerce, journey and finance transfer. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 workers consists of greater than 6,800 particular brokers assigned to 225 cities all through america, and 93 abroad places in 56 international locations. HSI’s worldwide presence represents the Division of Homeland Safety’s largest investigative regulation enforcement presence overseas and one of many largest worldwide footprints in U.S. regulation enforcement.