W.Va. man pleads guilty to interstate travel to sexually exploit a minor

Published 10:12 am Friday, July 9, 2010

COLUMBUS — Jason P. Anderson, 36, of New Martinsville, West Virginia pleaded guilty in United States District Court here today to one count of Interstate Travel with Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct for travelling between Ohio and West Virginia and having sexual relations with a three and one-half-year-old girl.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Keith L. Bennett, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office (FBI), announced the plea entered today before U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson.

According to a statement read at the plea hearing by the investigating agent, Anderson began engaging in illicit sexual conduct with the girl in the summer of 2006 and that the sexual conduct continued through approximately August 2007.

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Anderson explained that while the initial sexual conduct occurred in Ohio in 2006, that in May of 2007, he separated from his wife and moved to the State of West Virginia and took residence at an apartment in New Martinsville, W.Va. Anderson admitted that on numerous occasions drove to the State of Ohio, picked up the girl and traveled with her back across state lines to his residence in New Martinsville, WV where he repeatedly sexually molested the young girl.

Interstate Travel with Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct is punishable by up to 30 years imprisonment followed by supervised release of at least five years and up to life. Judge Watson ordered Anderson held without bond pending sentencing. A sentencing date will be set.

Stewart commended the cooperative investigation by the FBI agents and the Wetzel County West Virginia Sheriff’s deputies, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Hunter, who is prosecuting the case.