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Press Release

Kentucky Man Pleads Guilty to Sex Offense Against A Minor

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

BECKLEY, W.Va. – Richard L. Barksdale, 69, of Goshen, Kentucky, pleaded guilty today to traveling in interstate commerce to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on July 18, 2022, Barksdale contacted an individual he found on a fetish website he believed to be the single mother of two girls, ages 11 and 13, in Beckley, West Virginia. Barksdale admitted that he began communicating with the woman in phone calls and text messages, telling the woman that he wanted to engage in sexual activity with both of her daughters. Barksdale further admitted that he discussed methods to avoid the minor children getting pregnant, such as by putting them on birth control pills.

Barksdale arranged to rent a hotel room in Beckley where he would meet the two minor females to engage in sexual activity with both of them. He also arranged to bring gift cards and candy to make the minors more comfortable with him. On September 11, 2022, Barksdale traveled from his Kentucky residence to the Beckley hotel, where he was arrested.

Barksdale is scheduled to be sentenced on July 7, 2023, and faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. Barksdale must also register as a sex offender.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force.

United States District Judge Frank W. Volk presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Rada Herrald is prosecuting the case.

This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative of the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:22-cr-207.






Updated March 23, 2023

Project Safe Childhood