North Carolina man pleads guilty to soliciting minors in Galax via Snapchat

New River Valley News

ABINGDON, Va. (WFXR) — A North Carolina man, who used Snapchat to solicit Galax minors to send him sexually explicit photographs and videos in exchange for expensive gifts, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Abingdon on Wednesday.

According to the Department of Justice, 40-year-old Jason Kelly Inman of Mount Airy, N.C., waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty on Wednesday, April 14 to a “one-count Information” charging him with persuading, enticing, and coercing and attempting to persuade, entice, and coerce minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions of such conduct.

At sentencing, Inman faces a term of imprisonment of 15 to 17-and-a-half years, as well as a mandatory minimum term of supervised release of five years.

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for July 21 at 2:30 p.m.

“This defendant used the internet to prey on vulnerable victims, promising them expensive gifts and cash in order to facilitate this egregious behavior. An unfortunate side effect of living our lives increasingly online is the increased ability of bad actors to reach across the internet into the bedrooms of our children through messaging apps, social media, and other platforms. I am thankful for the work of the FBI and the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office in bringing this case to justice.”

Daniel P. Bubar, Acting U.S. Attorney

On Wednesday, officials say Inman admitted that between June and December of 2020, he used Snapchat to solicit minor victims living in Grayson County, to send him sexually explicit photographs and videos of themselves.

The DOJ says Inman targeted at least four boys, all of whom resided in Galax and ranged in age from 14 to 16 years old.

:Inman’s general pattern of behavior was to exchange messages with his victims using Snapchat and provide the victims with gifts, including marijuana, vape cartridges, money, and cell phones. Inman would then turn the conversation toward sexual issues, eventually requesting and receiving sexually explicit photographs and videos from his victims via Snapchat, in exchange for the victims continuing to receive gifts. Inman also traveled to Grayson County, Virginia, to deliver gifts to his victims and meet with them in-person, including meeting at least one victim at a Grayson County school bus stop.  There is no evidence of actual physical contact between Inman and the victims.     

Department of Justice, Western District of Virginia

This case was investigated by the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police, and the FBI.

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