National Human Trafficking Prevention Month: U.S. Attorney and HSI Announce Partnership in Tornado Alley Child Exploitation and Trafficking Task Force
A federal jury today convicted a Bluejacket man who voluntarily waived his right to counsel and represented himself at trial. Lance Douglas Roark, 43, of Bluejacket and a member of the Delaware Tribe of Indians, was convicted of Abusive Sexual Contact with a Minor Under 12 Years of Age in Indian Country and Assault with Intent to Commit Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Minor Under 12 years of Age in Indian Country.
“Lance Roark manipulated a child in June of 2023 to fulfill his own criminal sexual desires,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “That child showed tremendous strength and courage in trial as she faced her predator. Lance Roark has now been held accountable for his criminal actions.”
According to court documents and testimony presented at trial, on June 9, 2023, Roark engaged in abusive sexual contact and intentionally assaulted a minor child who was eleven. When the child victim took the witness stand, prosecutors asked her questions about the sexual abuse and assault. The victim testified that Roark described biblical stories and how they could be “free in who they had sex with.” Roark asked her if she felt uncomfortable. Even after she told him that she was uncomfortable, Roark continued grooming the child. Roark showed her pornography and even convinced the child that if he abused her, they would win the lottery. He also asked the child not to tell anyone. As the child continued to describe the sexual contact and assault, Roark had a hard time making eye contact with the victim as she testified. While prosecutors presented drawings the child made describing Roark’s genitalia, he still would not make eye contact. When Roark cross-examined the child, he would not say “sexual abuse” or “sexual assault.”
On June 8, 2023, Roark approached a separate minor who is 17 years old. The witness described to prosecutors how Roark approached her after she saw him touching himself. She testified that Roark apologized for staring at her chest. Roark attempted to persuade her to have sex with him. She was able to decline his advances and separate herself from him.
Roark will remain in custody until he is sentenced at a later date. He faces up to life imprisonment. The FBI and Craig County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chantelle Dial and Alicia N. Hockenbury prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit https://www.justice.gov/psc.