North Carolina Man Sentenced to 121 Months -- More than 10 Years -- in Federal Prison for Attempted Enticement of a Minor
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A North Carolina man was sentenced today to spend 121 months – more than 10 years -- in federal prison for a federal sex crime involving a minor, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Timothy Sean Coogle, 46, of Lexington, previously pled guilty to attempted enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity. U.S. Attorney Stuart commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force, the West Virginia State Police, the West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the FBI in North Carolina.
“These heinous crimes warrant significant penalties,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “Sexual predators like Coogle that prey on our children need to be behind bars for a long time.”
Coogle admitted that from August 12, 2017, through September 22, 2017, he used his cell phone and the Internet to attempt to persuade, induce, and entice a minor residing in the Southern District of West Virginia to engage in sexual activity. Specifically, Coogle admitted that he sent messages to a 13-year-old minor female, commenting on a photo of her. The minor’s mother discovered messages from Coogle and contacted law enforcement. Soon after, Coogle began engaging in sexually explicit conversation with a person he believed to be the minor, but was actually an undercover officer. He additionally requested that the person he believed to be the minor send him sexually explicit photos and video footage, and he also sent a sexually explicit video. Coogle admitted that he engaged in all of this communication in order to persuade the person he believed to be the minor to engage in sexual activity when she visited North Carolina.
Following release from prison, Coogle will be on federal supervised release for a period of 25 years and will be required to register as a sex offender.
Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Rada Herrald was in charge of the prosecution. The sentencing hearing was held before United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr.
This case is being 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 www.justice.gov/psc.