More Trouble for Convicted Sex Offender
Lawrence West Jr., who was convicted in 2005 of trying to solicit sex from a minor over the Internet, was charged Tuesday with sexually assaulting and abusing a 15-year-old boy.
Ohio County Magistrate Harry Radcliffe arraigned West on charges of second-degree sexual assault and sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian. West, 32, of Wheeling remained in the Northern Regional Jail in Moundsville on Wednesday in lieu of $1 million cash bond.
West was convicted in March 2005 in U.S. District Court of attempted Internet enticement of a minor. He was released from prison in December 2008 and placed on probation.
As a condition of his probation, West was required to submit to polygraph examinations. During an exam in July 2012, he admitted to having a sexual encounter with a 15-year-old boy about six months earlier. His probation was subsequently revoked the next month, and he was returned to federal prison in Kentucky until July 17 of this year.
In the interim, West Virginia State Police launched an investigation into West’s admission. During an interview with sexual assault counselors at Harmony House in Wheeling, the boy alleged West had sexual contact with him on 12 occasions.
One of those crimes reportedly occurred after the boy missed the bus and West drove him to school. While in West’s car, court documents state, the convicted sex offender allegedly told the boy, “You know what I want.” West then allegedly forced the boy to perform a sex act on him and also performed a sex act on the juvenile.
Most of the alleged crimes reportedly occurred in West’s car. The suspect also threatened the boy with violence if he told anyone about the encounters, court document state
State Police filed a detainer to keep West incarcerated in Kentucky until he could be extradited to West Virginia. Earlier this week, Sgt. Scott Adams and another State Police trooper made the six-hour drive to the federal correctional institution in Manchester, Ky., and returned to the Northern Panhandle with West in custody.
Adams said he last spoke to the alleged victim about a month ago. Now 17, the boy remains in the local area and is undergoing counseling, Adams noted.
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday in front of Senior Status Magistrate Howard Carpenter. Chief Public Defender Shayne Welling has been appointed to represent West.
The 2005 conviction was a result of West’s online communication with an Ohio County sheriff’s deputy, whom he believed to be a 14-year-old girl. West was arrested after he showed up outside a restaurant in Elm Grove for what he thought was going to be a meeting with the girl.