Gauley Bridge, WV

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Cameras
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
Letters
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Gauley Bridge is a town in Fayette County, West Virginia. A 2019 US Census estimate placed the town’s population at roughly 850.  Shaming and loss of employment are consequence of buying sex that have occurred within the community.  In March, 2021, a man and woman from Fayette County were arrested and faced federal charges for sex trafficking a 17-year-old girl. On two separate occasions, the man allegedly paid the woman for access to sexually abuse the minor. At the time of the rapes, the man was employed by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department and was the Chief of Police for the Gauley Bridge Police Department. During the first incident, the woman drove the teen to a spot near a river and watched as the man, wearing his police uniform, forced the girl to perform oral sex on him and then raped her outside his squad car. The second sexual assault took place in an old high school building that is now a city-owned community center in Gauley. Investigators retrieved DNA evidence from the room where the second incident reportedly took place. The crimes took place in June 2020 and were uncovered the following fall when the victim contacted law enforcement to report the abuse. In March, 2021, following a months-long investigation, the woman was arrested, and in September, 2021, she admitted in federal court that she had arranged for the police chief to rape the teenage girl. The male co-defendant resigned as chief of the Gauley Bridge Police Department after his arrest and was been charged with conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of a minor via coercion and sex trafficking of a minor via coercion. He pleaded not guilty in September, 2021, and his trial was scheduled for November, 2021.

 

Key Partners

  • Gauley Bridge Police Department
  • Fayette County Sheriff’s Department
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of WV
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE)
  • Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
  • West Virginia State Police
State West Virginia
Type City
Population 858
Location
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