Former school counselor sentenced to 25 years in prison on porn … – West Virginia MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Attorney Will Thompson took several deep breaths and paused between words Monday night when discussing the criminal sentencing of former award-winning Kanawha County school counselor Todd Roatsey.
Roatsey, 43, of Elkview, was sentenced Monday afternoon to spend 25 years in prison after previous guilty pleas for attempted production of child pornography and attempted enticement of a minor.
“This case was very disturbing,” Thompson said. “Oftentimes in our community schools are the only constant for children…a lot of times school is a safe place and the fact that Mr. Roatsey made this not a safe place I found very horrific.”
Roatsey used Snapchat and other sites to pose as an 18-year-old boy luring young girls to make pornographic videos. In some cases he exchanged videos with them.
The charges that Roatsey pleaded guilty to were linked to four victims but Thompson said Monday he believes there were many more.
“At least four,” he said. “This is not something you just get caught the first time you’re doing it either. I think this is a lifetime pattern.”

Roatsey had more than 20 years of similar behavior going back to his days as a lifeguard, prosecutors said.
Federal prosecutors pushed for a 35 year sentence saying Roatsey, a former counselor at Pinch Elementary School, “has placed himself in a position of trust at an elementary school to have a hunting ground for vulnerable girls in his community,” prosecutors said in documents posted before Monday’s hearing.
U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver decided on the lesser time but also said Roatsey was a predator. He’ll have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Thompson said they wanted 35 years but 25 years is still an appropriate sentence. He said he hopes the time locked away will help Roatsey take responsibility for what he’s done.
“I think he chose the career path that would give him access to young girls and put him in a position of trust in the community so he would access to his victims,” Thompson said. “I think this was a calculated plan on his part.”
Roatsey apologized Monday. He described his actions as an addiction that he allowed himself to fall into.
Thompson urged parents to keep their kids off of Snapchat and other sites.
“Take time to talk with your kids, find out what’s going on. Read your kid’s text messages, read your kid’s phone, see what’s going on,” Thompson said.
Roatsey, who will serve his prison time in Florida, will be on supervised release for the rest of his life once he completes his sentence. He was also ordered Monday to pay $23,000 in restitution to his victims.

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