BECKLEY, W.Va. – David William McConnell, 39, of Charlotte, North Carolina, today pleaded guilty to traveling in interstate commerce to engage in illegal sexual activity with a minor.
According to court documents and testimonies in court, from May 15, 2022 to May 30, 2022, McConnell used the Kik messaging app, exchanging text messages and communicating by phone with a woman he believed to be a single mother of 11 -old and 13-year-old daughters in Beckley, West Virginia. During these conversations, McConnell expressed an interest in sexual activity with the two underage women and taught the woman to engage in sexual activity with her daughters.
McConnell admitted to telling the woman he planned to travel from his Charlotte residence to a hotel in Beckley to meet her and the two underage women on May 30, 2022. McConnell further admitted to telling the woman that he planned to shower with each of the underage children and engage in sexual activity with both. On May 30, 2022, McConnell was arrested in Beckley.
McConnell is scheduled to be sentenced on February 3, 2023 and faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, five years to life supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. McConnell must also register as a sex offender.
United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement, praising the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) West Virginia Task Force on Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation.
US District Judge Frank W. Volk presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Rada Herrald is prosecuting the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched by the Justice Department in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by US prosecutors and CEOs, Project Safe Childhood deploys federal, state and local resources to better locate, arrest and prosecute those who exploit children online, and to identify and identify victims to rescue. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.justice.gov/psc.
A copy of this press release is available on the website of the US Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching Case #5:22-cr-124.