The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

July 15, 2014

Beckley mom sets up Princeton man

BECKLEY — A Princeton man was arrested on felony charges after allegedly offering a Beckley mom $104 in exchange for allowing him to have sex with her 5-year-old daughter, according to police documents.

The Ewart Avenue woman and three male friends instead set up a scenario to meet the man, then called police.

Johnnie Ray Champ, a 44-year-old truck driver, had been visiting the website “Plenty of Fish” in the days prior to June 9, according to a criminal complaint filed in Raleigh County Magistrate Court.

The woman connected with Champ on the site and was considering the possibility of having sex with him for money, according to Beckley Police Department Cpl. M.G. Bragg.

As the two began exchanging texts, Champ told the woman that he wasn’t interested in having sex with her because of her age. He asked if she’d instead find someone younger to have sex with him.

When the woman mentioned she baby-sat a 2-year-old, Champ allegedly texted, “Is she what you found?” and “Well, if you find the right one, you could keep the money they wouldn’t know the difference,” according to the complaint.

In a string of texts to the woman, Champ stated, “Any will do long as young” and “Younger the better,” according to Bragg.

The woman texted back that she had not procured the 2-year-old to have sex with him.

“In an attempt to determine his seriousness, she continued the conversation and acknowledged having a 5-year-old daughter of her own,” Bragg stated in the complaint. “Mr. Champ then requested that (she) facilitate a sexual encounter between (Champ) and her daughter.”

He also asked the woman to text nude photos of her daughter, according to the complaint.

The woman found the request reprehensible, said Bragg, so she developed a plan to capture Champ and to notify law enforcement.

According to phone records, the woman tried to contact law enforcement but wasn’t able to connect with a police officer, said Bragg.

She then enlisted the help of three male friends and took matters into her own hands, according to the complaint.

Around midnight June 9, Champ showed up at the apartment. The child was at home and sleeping on a sofa, Bragg said.

“Champ then asked (the mother) to carry the child to the upper level of the residence and remove her clothing,” reported Bragg.

He told the woman he would need around an hour alone with the little girl before he would pay the $104, according to the complaint.

As Champ made his way upstairs, two of the men met him and told him to leave, while the woman and the third man contacted police.

Champ and the two men left the apartment, and Champ got into his vehicle.

However, officers arrived and arrested him before he was able to leave Beckley, said Bragg.

He told police he was joking about having sex with children.

Champ was arrested July 1 in Princeton on a felony charge of use of a minor in filming sexually explicit conduct after police obtained a warrant to search his cell phone.

U.S. Marshals arrested Champ Friday on additional charges of attempting to commit a felony and solicitation of a minor by a computer.

Champ’s preliminary hearing is scheduled at 3 p.m. Wednesday before Raleigh Magistrate Steve Massie.

He was at Southern Regional Jail Monday under a $250,000 bond.

— E-mail: jfarrish@register-herald.com

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