CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – Donald E. Ward, 59, of Logan, Ohio has been sentenced to 36 months in prison for traveling in interstate commerce in order to engage in illicit sexual activity with a minor. Ward admitted that in January of 2019 he began communicating with a minor who he believed to be a 14-year-old girl from Parkersburg, West Virginia using social media and text messaging.
On February 13th, 2019, Ward traveled from Ohio to Parkersburg to meet the minor and engage in sexual activity. Ward then discovered that the minor was actually an undercover law enforcement officer. The West Virginia State Police, the West Virginia State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the FBI Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Parkersburg Police Department conducted the investigation.
This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative of the Department of Justice to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse.