Raleigh County Man Pleads Guilty to Child Exploitation Offense
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia
BECKLEY, W.Va. – A Raleigh County man plead guilty today to the sexual exploitation of a child.
According to the plea agreement and statements made in court, Thomas John Mills, 36, of Beckley, admitted that between March and October 2020, he coerced a 15-year-old girl to engage in sexually explicit conduct, including masturbation and the lascivious exhibition of her genitals for the purpose of creating images and videos of this conduct. Mills had the minor take pictures and videos to send to him and had her participate in live video chats where he told her to engage in sexually explicit conduct.
Mills pleaded guilty to production of child pornography and faces at least 15 and up to 30 years in prison when he is sentenced on March 25, 2022.
United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office.
United States District Judge Frank W. Volk 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. 5:21-cr-00096.
Updated December 9, 2021
Project Safe Childhood