Failing to notify the authorities of email accounts and internet access could result in a sex offender being sentenced to three to 15 years of imprisonment.
Randy McClung II was indicted in February 2020 on three charges of felony failure to register or provide notice of registration changes.
Rather than plead guilty to the three counts as second or subsequent offenses, as charged, McClung instead plead guilty to a lesser offense.
“I’m pleading to three counts of failure to register, first offense, instead of pleading to failure to register, second offense or subsequent,” said McClung.
Greenbrier County Circuit Court Judge Robert Richardson noted that even the lesser offense was still a felony and could result in one to five years imprisonment.
Assistant Prosecutor Ryan Blake explained the cause for McClung’s registry to the sexual offender list.
“The state would intend to produce evidence that on or about June 16, 2020, [an officer with the state police] was conducting routine sex offender compliance checks and stopped at the residence of the defendant, Mr. McClung, within the municipal limits of Rainelle,” said Blake. “… Mr. McClung is required to register upon the sex offender registry for the remainder of his life due to a conviction for the felony offense of sexual assault in the third degree, with a conviction date of … January 17, 2013, in which he was convicted of a matter involving a minor child.”
Officers with the state police were allegedly given permission to enter the home by McClung during one of these routine checkups, resulting in the discovery of email accounts and an unexpected internet connection.
“Upon entering the home, they observed an internet Wi-Fi box to be powered on,” Blake said “There was no ISP service provider that had been provided by Mr. McClung in his most recent sex offender registration update. He was requested to turn the television on, he agreed to do so, and it was further observed that there was an Xbox gaming machine that was active upon the television screen. At that point, it was discovered that Mr. McClung had an account, which he was using to chat with other players. … Both the internet service provider and the email addresses at issue were required disclosures to any sex offender registration update. Mr. McClung stated … that he was aware these changes were supposed to be reported … however he chose not to do so.”
After the plea, he agreed with the state’s summary of events. Defense Attorney Dewitt Daniell noted going to trial would not likely benefit McClung.
“We did file some interesting motions I thought but the likelihood of those motions changing the situation was relatively minimal,” said Daniell.
Already in custody, McClung was ordered to remain there after Richardson found him guilty of the offense. A presentence investigation has already been conducted, done approximately one year ago, which could have allowed sentencing to take place today, but Daniell noted one officer involved in the arrest wished to make comment at a sentencing hearing.