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Press Release

Wayne County Man Pleads Guilty to Sexual Abuse of a Minor

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Wayne County man pled guilty today to a sex crime, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  Joshua I. Morrison entered his guilty plea to one count of sexual abuse of a minor.  Stuart commended the investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

“It’s a parent’s worst nightmare,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “To have a child victimized in this way is unimaginable period.  But to think it would happen while on a family vacation is even worse.  My office stands ready to prosecute every single child sex offender brought to us by our law enforcement partners.”

Morrison admitted that the sexual abuse took place on board a cruise ship in international waters on or about 12 a.m. on January 9, 2016.  He admitted that he was 18 years old at the time, the minor was 12 years old at the time, and he knew the minor was 12 years old at the time.  He further admitted that she performed oral sex on him and that he attempted to engage in sexual intercourse.

Morrison faces up to 15 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on October 11, 2018.  He will also be required to register as a sex offender.

Assistant United States Attorney Emily J. Wasserman is handling the prosecution.  The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin.

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 July 16, 2018

Project Safe Childhood