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Press Release

Kentucky Man Sentenced to Prison for Traveling to Meet a Minor for Sex

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

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Kentucky man was sentenced today to spend 46 months in prison for traveling in interstate commerce in order to engage in illicit sexual activity with a minor, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  Upon his release from prison, Caudill will be required to serve a 15 year term of supervised release. He will also be required to register as a sex offender.

“As we announced last month, federal, state and local law enforcement resources are working collaboratively throughout West Virginia and across state lines to identify and prosecute child predators,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “We are committed to doing everything possible to protect our children.”   

Richard Gerald Caudill, Jr., 46, of Catlettsburg, Kentucky, previously admitted that during August 2018 he communicated via the cell phone messaging app Kik with a minor he believed to be a 14-year-old girl from the Ashland, Kentucky area. During the conversations, Caudill attempted to persuade and entice the minor to meet him in order to engage in sexual intercourse. On August 28, 2018, Caudill traveled from his home in Kentucky to a location in Kenova, Wayne County, West Virginia, in order to have sex with the minor. Only then did Caudill discover that the minor was actually an undercover law enforcement officer.

The investigation was conducted by the West Virginia State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the FBI Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the Ashland Police Department. First Assistant United States Attorney Lisa Johnston and Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Rada Herrald handled the prosecution. The sentence was handed down by United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.

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


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Updated May 20, 2019

Project Safe Childhood