An Eagle Rock man was sentenced in Beckley, W.Va., last month for a sex offense involving a minor, according to United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Joshua T. Haynes, 42, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, to be followed by 15 years of supervised release, for attempted sex trafficking of a minor. He also will be required to register as a sex offender.
“Child exploitation is a tragic pandemic around the world,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “My office has prosecuted so many cases like this but every single one is unique and every single one is tragic by its own facts and circumstances. The mere idea that someone would attempt to knowingly purchase sex with a child, well, I’m not sure there are words that adequately describe the full nature of the crime. It is criminal on every conceivable level. Our kids – our precious kids – must be our priority and we must do everything in our power to protect them.”
Haynes previously admitted that between October 31, 2019 and November 2, 2019, he communicated with a man who stated he could provide a 14- or 15-year-old female to Haynes. Haynes agreed to pay the man money in exchange for sexual activity with the purported minor female. On November 2, 2019, Haynes met with the man in Sam Black Church, W.Va., and paid him the agreed upon sum in order to have sex with the minor, at which time Haynes was placed under arrest.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s West Virginia Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, which includes task force officers from the West Virginia State Police, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office and the Ashland (Kentucky) Police Department, with additional assistance from the Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Rada Herrald handled the prosecution. United States District Judge Frank W. Volk imposed the sentencing.
The case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative of the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.