The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


April 23, 2014

Preliminary hearing set for Bluefield ‘warlock’

Man allegedly used promise of magic to lure children into sexual acts

BLUEFIELD — A Bluefield man who police say used a promise of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him remains incarcerated at the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver on multiple sexual assault and sexual abuse charges.

Police say James “Jim” Irvin, 57, of Bluefield, claims to be a “warlock” and used his wiccan religion to allegedly get close to the children and ultimately sexually abuse them. Irvin was arrested Monday and arraigned on five counts of sexual assault and 10 counts of sexual abuse involving juveniles. The victims in the case were 3, 9 and 13 years of age at the time of the alleged abuse, according to Detective K.L. Adams of the Bluefield Police Department.

Irvin remained incarcerated Tuesday in lieu of a $100,000 bond set by Mercer County Magistrate Susan Honaker. A preliminary hearing for Irvin has been set for April 30 before Magistrate Jim Dent.

Also Tuesday, David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, issued a statement to the Daily Telegraph regarding the case.

“It is always appalling when children are abused, but even more so when spiritual beliefs are used as an excuse,” Clohessy said. “We are grateful for the detective on this case for reaching out to potential victims in Texas, where Irvin lived before moving to West Virginia. We hope anyone who saw, suspected or suffered abuse by Irvin will immediately call law enforcement and start healing. “

Police began an investigation in April after receiving a complaint from Child Protect of Mercer County. The investigation revealed that Irwin was a practicing pagan and wiccan and used his religion — and claims of magical powers — to allegedly sexually abuse children.

According to the criminal complaint, Irvin claimed he could heal the mother of two of the children through magical spells if they committed sexual acts with him. In another instance, he allegedly told a child that he could resurrect her dead father through magical spells if she would participate in sexual acts with him.

Adams said he is seeking to interview any other individuals who may have been a victim in the case. Adams can be reached at the Bluefield Police Department at 304-327-6101.

— Charles Owens is a reporter for The Bluefield-Daily Telegraph

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