CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Jeffrey Lee Ward Jr., 31, of Bellaire, Ohio, was sentenced today to five years in prison, to be followed by 20 years of supervised release, for traveling in interstate commerce to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on February 4, 2022, Ward traveled from Ohio to Parkersburg, West Virginia, to meet an individual he believed to be a 14-year-old girl in order to engage in sexual activity including sexual intercourse. Ward had been communicating with the individual via an instant messaging app. Ward used the app to send a photo of his genitalia to the individual. When Ward showed up at their arranged meeting location, he was arrested.
Ward was previously convicted of pandering obscenity involving a minor in Belmont County, Ohio, Common Pleas Court on May 18, 2015, and failure to register as a sex offender in Nicholas County, West Virginia, Magistrate Court on September 1, 2021.
United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) West Virginia Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Task Force, the West Virginia State Police, and the Parkersburg Police Department.
United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin imposed the sentence. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Rada Herrald prosecuted the case.