Two Charged in Sex Abuse, Child Porn Case in Wheeling

Two months after West Virginia State Police arrested a Wheeling man on child sex abuse charges, troopers have charged a woman allegedly identified in sexually explicit photos depicting one of the children.

State police had arrested Larry Dayton Jr., 35, of Wheeling, as the result of a complaint from Child Protective Services late last year. At the home, two children — one male, one female — spoke to officers, with the female child telling them Dayton touched her inappropriately while she got in the shower, according to a criminal complaint. Dayton also allegedly asked if she would perform sexual favors in exchange for rewards.

The male child told troopers Dayton pressured him to engage in sex acts, according to the complaint, which also stated a deleted photo recovered from Dayton’s hard drive showed him touching the female child inappropriately.

Dayton since has been indicted by an Ohio County grand jury. According to court records, Dayton remains lodged at the Northern Regional Jail in Moundsville with bond set at $50,000.

This week, Barbara Wells, 41, of Moundsville, was identified in more photos recovered from Dayton’s hard drives, which allegedly depicted her putting a child in lewd and sexually explicit positions.

When Wells was questioned earlier this month, she allegedly admitted to being the one in the photos and said she was under the influence of drugs at the time. She also told investigators she agreed to allow a child to be photographed in exchange for Vicodin from Dayton, according to the complaint.

She also said Dayton asked her if he could touch the child, which she said she refused to allow, the complaint states. The child reportedly identified Wells in the photos.

Wells was arrested earlier this week and arraigned in Marshall County Magistrate Court. She remains lodged in the NRJ on $100,000 bond, awaiting a preliminary hearing set for Jan. 25 on a charge of filming a minor in sexually explicit conduct.

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