Lebanon, VA — On July 12, 2016, Ronald Dewayne Mickles, a 21 year-old man pled guilty to Soliciting Child Pornography From A Child Less than 15 Years of Age, in the Russell County Circuit Court. Mickles was sentenced to ten (10) years, with five (5) years suspended, and three (3) years probation upon his release.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Daniel Robinson presented evidence at Tuesday’s hearing that the victim in this case was a 13 year old child that Mickles had never met but had began trading Facebook and text messages with. The evidence showed that between June and August, 2015, there were several instances of Mickles sending and receiving sexually explicit messages to and from the 13 year old victim. Mickles’ crime was discovered when the victim’s family discovered some suspicious messages on the child’s device.
The term “Sexting’ is defined as the “sending of sexually explicit messages or images” by Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Brian Patton stated, “the term ‘Sexting’ is unfortunately becoming commonplace in our vocabulary and we are seeing a sharp increase in the criminal cases that involve sexting.” Patton further stated, “this sentence should serve as a strong reminder to teenagers to refrain from engaging in this type activity and to parents to be even more vigilant monitoring teenagers’ wireless devices and social networking sites.”
Sheriff Steve Dye stated, “it is unfortunate that we have to work and investigate cases like this, but much more rewarding knowing that our community will be plaqued by one less predator.
This case was investigated by the Russell County Sheriff’s Office.