CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A former elementary school counselor in West Virginia who admitted to possessing child pornography and posing as an 18-year-old on social media to communicate with girls was sentenced to 25 years in prison Monday.
Federal prosecutors said that beginning in January 2020, Todd C. Roatsey of Elkview persuaded two girls to record and send him numerous sexually explicit videos, and he reciprocated.
Roatsey also used his Snapchat account to communicate with girls he knew through his position as a Pinch Elementary School counselor in Kanawha County. He received numerous videos of girls performing dance routines wearing only sports bras and shorts, prosecutors said.
Roatsey, 43, also admitted to possessing and distributing child pornography through a variety of media, prosecutors said. He pleaded guilty in June to attempted production of child pornography and attempted enticement of a minor.
Within hours of Homeland Security investigators executing a search warrant at his residence and seizing numerous electronic devices in October 2021, Roatsey deleted his Snapchat account, making various records inaccessible to law enforcement, prosecutors said.
“As an elementary school counselor, Roatsey intentionally placed himself in a position of trust over the kinds of children to whom he was sexually attracted,” U.S. Attorney Will Thompson said in a statement. “In our communities, schools are the only constant for a lot of children. A lot of the time, school is the safe place. The fact that Mr. Roatsey made this not a safe place was, I find, to be very horrific.”