The former Kanawha County elementary school counselor accused of multiple child pornography-related charges has pleaded not guilty to all of them.
Todd Roatsey, who visited the White House in 2016 after being named West Virginia’s Elementary School Counselor of the Year, worked at Pinch Elementary from about 2012 until resigning this fall. He previously worked at Harts Primary School in Lincoln County for four years.
On Nov. 16, a federal grand jury indicted Roatsey on one count of possessing child pornography. He pleaded not guilty Nov. 29.
On Dec. 14, a federal grand jury handed up a superseding indictment, adding eight more charges. Among them is using two children to produce child pornography.
Roatsey was newly accused of attempting to, and succeeding in his attempt to, “employ, use, persuade, induce, entice, and coerce” each unidentified girl to “engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions.” Those “depictions” were then transmitted, the superseding indictment said.
The original charge alleged only possession, and just in October 2021, on the date he was searched. The new charges include allegations that he distributed and attempted to distribute child pornography in July; accessed images and videos with the intent to view them in April; and used the internet and a cellular network to “persuade, induce, entice, and coerce” the minors “to engage in sexual activity” in January and February 2020.
The superseding indictment said Roatsey’s possible penalty is now “life in prison; $2,250,000 fine; 5 years to life supervised release.”
On Monday in Charleston, Roatsey, standing with handcuffs and ankle-cuffs attached to chains around his waist and legs, pleaded not guilty to all the new charges. His lawyer, John Carr, did not provide a comment after the hearing.
Roatsey’s trial is still set for Jan. 19 before U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver Jr.