Home Incarceration and 10 days incarceration is the sentence following a plea deal for solicitation of a minor via computer.
Author’s Note – this story contains details of a solicitation of a minor case. Please be advised before reading.
In February 2020, Hampton Bragg was indicted for solicitation of a minor via computer. On September 3, Bragg pled guilty to the felony offense of solicitation of a minor via computer. Although Sentencing was originally planned for November 29, it was continued to Monday’s hearing.
During Monday’s hearing, Defense Attorney Josh Edwards spoke in Bragg’s favor prior to sentencing.
“Mr. Bragg has [accepted responsibility] and knows this is illegal, he did not begin this process trying to meet [with children]. He was using a service that is for people over the age of 18. The person who was [he was speaking with] initially identified themselves as 18. I could reasonably believe that they looked 18. … I’m not try to argue defense, your honor, but I think that [does] significantly mitigate [a possible sentence]. This is not someone who was seeking out children. … With the public safety, I think it was worth mentioning. … This was not Facebook or TikTok, somewhere where children gather online.”
Edwards asked the sentence be allowed to be completed on Home Confinement.
Greenbrier County Prosecuting Attorney Patrick Via spoke in favor of the plea deal’s resolution, allowing Bragg to serve on Home Confinement, asking that the court consider the extra recommended restrictions for Home Confinement.
Bragg also spoke to his sentencing.
“I do accept the responsibility of misconduct,” said Bragg. “… I, fully, was going to a site I should not have been on, Grindr. … Secondly, because of COVID, my family could not be here, but I wanted to continue making everything right with my family. … I would also like to ask that you allow me to work on my education.”
According to the initial criminal complaint, Bragg “engaged in communication via electronic device with whom he believed was a 15 year old male. … During this communication, Bragg spoke about engaging in oral sex with said 15 year old. Mr. Bragg asked to meet up. … Bragg made contact … about meeting at the designated spot. … Due to the suspect’s vehicle description ont matching the vehicle seen, and not knowing the suspect’s identity at the time, Mr. Bragg was not apprehended. … On November 2, 2019, Task Force Officers … traveled to the suspect’s place of employment where an interview was conducted. In the interview, Mr. Bragg admitted to knowing [the alleged child] he was talking to was 15 years of age and he also admitted to talking about oral sex.”
After reviewing Bragg’s presentencing report, noting his employment and a previous embezzlement felony conviction, Dent agreed to the two to 10 year sentence, to be served on home confinement. However, Dent required 10 days to be served in active incarceration, within 30 days of the sentencing hearing.
Home incarceration will also have the power to monitor, and curtail if needed, the use of electronics, such as computers or smartphones. Bragg is not to be unattended with children, something that would not interfere with his work at an 18-year-old-plus based business. Bragg will also be required to attend an outpatient sex offender therapy course.