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An ex-elementary school counselor in West Virginia will spend the next 25 years in prison after he received videos from girls who performed dance routines with only sports bras and shorts on, federal prosecutors announced Monday in the sickening case.

Todd Roatsey, a former counselor at Pinch Elementary School, used his position and the social media app Snapchat to connect with several minors while he posed as an 18-year-old, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. The 43-year-old was sentenced to 25 years behind bars after he pleaded guilty to child exploitation crimes earlier this year.

US Attorney Will Thompson called Roatsey’s actions “horrific.”

“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,” he said in a statement.

“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.”

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.

Todd Roatsey, a former counselor at Pinch Elementary School, will serve a 25-year prison term.
Todd Roatsey, a former counselor at Pinch Elementary School, will serve a 25-year prison term.
West Virginia Regional Jail

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.”

Thompson said during a press conference Roatsey “eroded that trust” that students and parents should expect from school staffers.

He fears the victims could be “paying the price for this for years to come.”

Roatsey also confessed to distributing, receiving and owning child porn, including stomach-turning images and videos of infants and toddlers from October 2019 until July 2021, prosecutors said. Using a range of platforms, he sent photos and footage of prepubescent minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct to other people, the feds said.

He attempted to cover up his sick crimes when he deleted his Snapchat account hours after US Department of Homeland Security agents searched his home in October 2021 and seized numerous electronics with child porn on them, prosecutors said.

By deleting the account, the US Attorney’s Office said he made various records inaccessible to law enforcement for further prosecution.

Roatsey will have a lifetime of supervised release after he gets out of prison and is required to be registered as a sex offender. He also needs to pay victims $23,000 in restitution.

He pleaded guilty to attempted production of child pornography and attempted enticement of a minor in June.

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