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Press Release

Charleston Man Charged With Traveling To Have Sex With Minor Female

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of West Virginia

1125 Chapline Street, Federal Building, Suite 3000 ● Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 234-7725 ● Contact: Chris Zumpetta-Parr, Public Affairs Specialist

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Defendant alleged to have taken victim to hotel in Wetzel County

WHEELING, WV – A West Virginia man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly traveling across state lines to have sex with a minor whom he had met on the Internet, according to United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II.

MARK LORING DAWSON, age 51, of Charleston, West Virginia, is charged with driving to Sardis, Ohio and picking up a minor female, and then transporting her to a hotel in New Martinsville, West Virginia, and engaging in sexual activity with her on two separate occasions. These acts are alleged to have occurred between May of 2012 and April of 2013.

DAWSON faces two counts of “Transportation with Intent to Engage in Criminal Sexual Activity” and two counts of “Traveling in Interstate Commerce with the Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct.” If convicted, DAWSON faces up to life in prison on the transportation counts and up to thirty years in prison on the traveling counts. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

DAWSON, who is being held at the South Central Regional Jail, will appear in federal court today for an initial appearance.

The case will be prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Ihlenfeld and is being investigated by the Federal
Bureau of Investigation and the New Martinsville Police Department.

DAWSON is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Updated January 7, 2015