Man charged with sending obscene material to a minor

A 22-year-old Valley Bend man is being held on a $140,000 bond for allegedly sending sexually explicit letters and pictures to a female minor in 2010.

Shawn D. Shields, of HC 69 Box 9, was charged with 14 felony counts of distribution of obscene material to a minor Wednesday in Randolph County Magistrate Court.

According to the criminal complaint in the magistrate clerk’s office, Shields violated a pretrial diversion agreement dating back to 2010 that resulted in his arrest.

Cpl. A.S. Loudin with the West Virginia State Police’s Crimes Against Children Unit began investigating the case in April 2010, when the concerned mother of a then-15-year-old minor came into the WVSP headquarters with 45 letters Shields, then age 19, allegedly had written to her daughter.

Loudin’s report states 13 of the 45 letters contained “several sexual comments from (Shields) wanting to have sexual intercourse and oral sex” with the female minor. Shields had also allegedly used the minor’s camera to take pictures of his genitalia, the complaint states.

In an interview, the alleged victim told Loudin she and Shields had been corresponding since Dec. 14, 2009. Loudin arrested Shields and obtained a written confession from him, according to the report.

However, the case was dismissed in accordance with a pretrial diversion agreement in which Shields agreed to refrain from having unsupervised contact with minors.

However, Loudin alleges that Shields has since had unsupervised contact with two minors, based on his investigation.

Magistrate Rob Elbon set bond at $140,000 cash or surety. Shields remained in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail as of presstime.

The penalty for a conviction of distribution of obscene matter to a minor is a fine of up to $25,000, imprisonment in the state penitentiary for up to five years or both.