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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 30, 2020

Ohio Man Pleads Guilty to Sex Offense Involving Minors

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Chesapeake, Ohio man pled guilty to a sex offense involving a minor, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Mikel Bradley Smith, 19, pled guilty to traveling in interstate commerce to engage in sexual activity with a minor.

“Protecting children is a top priority in my office,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “Crimes against children are inexcusable and child predators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Smith admitted that on February 27, 2020, he responded to a Craigslist ad and engaged in a conversation with a person he believed to be a mother of two minors, ages 11 and 13. During the course of the conversation, Smith arranged to travel from Chesapeake, Ohio to Huntington to meet the woman in order to engage in sexual activity, including oral sex and sexual intercourse, with the two minor females. On February 28, 2020, Smith traveled to Huntington with condoms and small gifts for the two minors and met with the woman, at which time he was placed under arrest.

Smith faces up to 30 years in prison when sentenced on November 2, 2020. He also will be required to register as a sex offender following his release from prison.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s West Virginia Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force conducted the investigation. United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Rada Herrald is handling the prosecution.

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 www.justice.gov/psc.

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. 3:20-cr-00071.

 

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated July 30, 2020