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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of West Virginia

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Kentucky man pleads guilty to sex trafficking of a minor

Defendant faces up to life in federal prison

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Kentucky man pleaded guilty today to a sex trafficking crime, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. David Wayne Young, 47, of Ashland, faces at least 15 years and up to life in federal prison when he is sentenced on May 1, 2018. He also faces at least five years and up to life on federal supervised release once he is released from prison, and he will be required to register as a sex offender.

U.S. Attorney Stuart commended the investigative efforts of the FBI Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force, the West Virginia State Police, the West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Ashland Police Department, and the Boyd County Sheriff’s Department.

“Let me be clear – we have zero tolerance for sex trafficking of children. We will continue working with our law enforcement partners and use every tool at our disposal to come after those who put our children in danger,” said U.S. Attorney Stuart. “I want to thank all the officers who work tirelessly day in and day out to protect the children of our community and to keep sexual predators off the street.”

Young admitted that in March 2017, he communicated with his codefendant, Misty Dawn Baisden, and asked Baisden to provide him with a minor under the age of 14 for the purpose of engaging in commercial sexual activity. Young additionally admitted that the communication involved discussion of exchanging money, items, or other things of value for sexually explicit photographs of the minor. He further admitted that subsequent communications with Baisden included discussions that involved Young offering to provide Baisden with a minor for sexual activity in exchange for her providing him with a minor for sexual activity.

Baisden previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of a minor, and faces up to life in prison when she is sentenced on February 13, 2018.

Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Rada Herrald is in charge of the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr.

This case was brought 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

Human Trafficking
Project Safe Childhood
Updated January 30, 2018