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Man sentenced to 17.5 years in prison for using Snapchat to prey on teenage boys in Southwest Virginia

He gave them gifts and in return, received sexually explicit photos and videos

Man guilty of soliciting teens on Snapchat
Man guilty of soliciting teens on Snapchat

ABINGDON, Va. – A North Carolina will spend the next nearly 20 years in prison for receiving sexually explicit images and videos from teenage boys living in Southwest Virginia via Snapchat.

On Wednesday, 41-year-old Jason Kelly Inman was sentenced to 17.5 years in prison after pleading guilty to the charges against him back in April.

Between June and December 2020, Inman targeted at least four teenage boys in Galax between the ages of 14 and 16.

“This case demonstrates the lengths sexual predators will go seek out, win the trust of, and then victimize children. It also is a reminder of the dangers that exist for children online,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bubar. “I commend the hard work and partnership of the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, the Virginia State Police and the FBI, which brought Inman to justice to face his heinous crimes and will ensure he can no longer victimize children.”


ORIGINAL STORY

A 40-year-old man admitted in federal court to using Snapchat to ask for and receive sexually explicit images and videos from teenage boys living in Southwest Virginia.

Jason Kelly Inman, of Mount Airy, North Carolina, targeted at least four teenage boys in Galax who were between 14 and 16 years old, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

On Thursday, he waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Abingdon to a one-count of information charging him with persuading, enticing, and coercing and attempting to persuade, entice, and coerce minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions of such conduct.

During the court proceedings, Inman admitted that between June and December 2020, he used Snapchat to solicit teenage boys to send him sexually explicit photos and videos of themselves.

“I commend everyone involved with the investigation, arrest, and successful prosecution of this child predator,” said Grayson County Sheriff Richard Vaughan. “The school administration, resource officers, investigators, and prosecutors did an outstanding job! We are thankful for the great working relationship we have with our law enforcement partners.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office explained Inman’s general pattern:

  • Exchange messages with his victims and give them gifts, which included marijuana, vape cartridges, money and cell phones
  • Then, turn the conversation toward sexual issues, eventually asking for, and getting, sexually explicit images and videos from the boys on Snapchat, in exchange for continued gifts
  • Inman would travel to Grayson County to give the boys their gifts in person. One time he met with one boy at a Grayson County school bus stop.

While he did meet up with his victims, there is no evidence of actual physical contact between Inman and the boys, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

“This defendant used the internet to prey on vulnerable victims, promising them expensive gifts and cash in order to facilitate this egregious behavior,” U.S. Attorney Bubar said. “An unfortunate side effect of living our lives increasingly online is the increased ability of bad actors to reach across the internet into the bedrooms of our children through messaging apps, social media, and other platforms. I am thankful for the work of the FBI and the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office in bringing this case to justice.”

At sentencing, which is scheduled for July 21, 2021, at 2:30 p.m., Inman faces 15 to 17.5 years in prison and a mandatory minimum term of supervised release of five years.


About the Author:

Jeff Williamson arrived at WSLS 10 in March 2016.