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Tipsheet

Elementary School Counselor Gets 25 Years in Prison for Exploiting Underage Girls Through Snapchat

A former elementary school counselor in West Virginia will go to prison for 25 years for reportedly exploiting underage girls on the photo-sharing app Snapchat. 

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Todd Roatsey, 43, who was a counselor at Pinch Elementary School in Pinch, West Virginia, used Snapchat to connect with minors while posing as an 18-year-old boy, according to the New York Post

At the start of January 2020, Roatsey messaged one girl he thought was 16 and another girl he believed was also a minor while pretending to be 18 years old on Snapchat, prosecutors said. He admitted that he convinced both girls to record themselves by making sexually explicit videos that show the girls masturbating, prosecutors said.

He also admitted that he sent videos back where he was masturbating.

He then used his Snapchat account to message several other girls he knew from Pinch Elementary that included more than 100 videos he recorded while communicating with two of the girls, who were both around 12 years old, the feds said. One of the victims was a student at Pinch Elementary at the time, prosecutors said.

He received numerous videos of the girls performing what he called “sexy” dances or gymnastic poses like full backbends, according to prosecutors. The girls only wore the athletic bras and shorts on video while Roatsey admitted to telling the girls they were “hot” and “sexy.”

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Prosecutors reportedly said that Roatsey confessed to distributing, receiving and owning child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. He pleaded guilty to child exploitation crimes this year. 

Roatsey attempted to cover up his crimes by deleting his Snapchat account shortly after DHS agents searched his home in Oct. 2021 and seized electronic devices in his home with child porn on them. 

Roatsey will have a lifetime of supervised release when he gets out of prison in 25 years. He will be required to be registered as a sex offender and pay victims $23,000 in restitution, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

“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, adding that the former school counselor’s actions were “horrific.”

“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,” he explained.

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Last week, Townhall covered how a high school basketball coach and school monitor in Martin County, Florida, was arrested for allegedly paying underage girls to send him nude photos on Snapchat. The Martin County Sheriff’s Office reportedly got an anonymous tip about the coach, 28-year-old Alton Edwards, and spoke with seven teenagers who claim they sent him explicit photos. 

"Our theory is that he probably [took a] screenshot, saved some of those pictures, and that when we serve the search warrant, we will find them on his camera," Sheriff William Snyder told reporters, adding that it appeared to be a “known secret” among students for years, but no one spoke up.

If your children have Snapchat, go home tonight and delete it,” the sheriff said. 

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