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Ex-West Virginia school counselor pleads to porn charge

June 13, 2022 GMT

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A former elementary school counselor in West Virginia pleaded guilty Monday to attempted production of child pornography and attempted enticement of a minor.

Todd C. Roatsey admitted in federal court to posing as an 18-year-old boy on social media to communicate with several juvenile females, according to court records. Prosecutors said that beginning in January 2020, Roatsey persuaded two girls to record and send him numerous sexually explicit videos and he reciprocated.

Roatsey, 43, of Elkview, also used his Snapchat account to communicate with girls he knew through his position as a Pinch Elementary School counselor in Kanawha County and received numerous videos of girls performing dance routines wearing only sports bras and shorts.

Roatsey also admitted to possessing and distributing child pornography through a variety of media, prosecutors said.

Within hours of Homeland Security investigators executing a search warrant at his residence and seizing numerous electronic devices in October 2021, Roatsey deleted his Snapchat account, making various records inaccessible to law enforcement, prosecutors said.

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“The crimes to which the defendant pleaded guilty today are truly horrific,” U.S. Attorney Will Thompson said in a statement. “They are made even worse because the defendant was a school counselor at a grade school. Schools are often the only constant for so many of our children, and are often seen for some children as their only safe place.”

Roatsey faces up to 35 years in prison when he is sentenced on Sept. 14.