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Press Release

60-Month Sentence for North Carolina Man Who Sent Photo of His Genitalia to FBI Undercover

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia
Willy Korthals Believed He Was Sexting With a 9-Year-Old Child

HARRISONBURG, Va. – A North Carolina man, who sent a nude photograph to an employee of the Federal Bureau of Investigation whom he believed to be a nine-year-old girl, was sentenced yesterday to 60 months in federal prison.

Willy Alexander Korthals, 30, of Beaufort, North Carolina, waived his right to be indicted and pled guilty earlier this year to a one-count Information charging him with attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor.

According to court documents, in May 2022, Korthals was in a Kik chat room for “Active Parents,” in a group titled “Loving Family,” when he responded to a public group thread that read, “Anyone want to come to Virginia to have sex with my daughter?”

Korthals reached out to the individual who posted the thread and inquired about the age of the “daughter” and was told she was nine years old.  Unbeknownst to Korthals, the thread was posted by an undercover FBI employee posing as the girl’s father. In an effort to coax the daughter to send him pictures, Korthals sent a photograph of his erect penis. 

For over a year, Korthals chatted with the undercover FBI employee and requested “live” photographs of the nine-year-old as well as other sexually explicit photographs and videos.  Korthals also attempted to FaceTime with the undercover father and daughter in order to watch the sexual abuse of the child.  Additionally, Korthals described specific acts of sexual abuse he wanted the father to perform on his daughter, including oral, vaginal, and anal sex.

In preparation for an in-person meeting with the undercover father and his daughter in August 2022, Korthals sent laboratory test results of his sexually transmitted disease status to the undercover father so that Korthals could have unprotected sex with the nine-year-old. Korthals also described in graphic detail the sex acts he wanted to have the child perform. Two days before the planned meeting, Korthals cancelled it.

United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh and Stanley M. Meador, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division made the announcement.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Melanie Smith prosecuted the case.

The case is brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identity and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated June 25, 2024

Project Safe Childhood