Grafton resident faces multiple sex-related charges

TAYLOR COUNTY—After being arrested by Preston County Deputies on September 14 and charged with three counts of third-degree sexual assault, a Grafton man was back in court on additional charges in Taylor County.

 44-year-old James Alan Bauer, of Family Drive, Grafton, was present in Taylor County Magistrate Court on Tuesday, and has been charged with additional counts of sex-related crimes.

 The defendant has been charged with three counts of sexual assault in the third degree, one count of soliciting a minor via computer, one count of soliciting a minor and traveling to engage the minor in prohibited sexual activity, one count of use of minors in filming sexually explicit conduct prohibited and two counts of distribution and display to a minor of obscene matter. 

According to a criminal complaint filed by West Virginia State Trooper C.E. Smith, on September 13, he was requested to assist the Preston County Sheriff’s Office with a sexual assault investigation, that reportedly spanned both Taylor and Preston Counties.

Bauer was accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old female. According to the document, upon its start in January, the initial relationship was platonic, but sexual encounters began in June. It was reported that there were three instances that they occurred. 

During their investigation, officers were provided with a cell phone that Bauer had allegedly purchased for the female, and it was noted that he had advised her to keep it hidden from her family.

 With permission, law enforcement officials were able to gain access to the phone’s media and text messaging applications. 

From the cell phone, officers recovered numerous messages between the defendant and the female. In the messages, Bauer offered to supply the minor with sexually explicit photographs of himself. Messages requesting graphic photographs of the minor were also found. 

In addition, officers found videos sent between Bauer and his victim, along with messages arranging for the minor female to meet with the defendant without supervision, so that they could have intercourse.

They also recovered messages that indicated that meetings between the two had occurred.

In the criminal complaint filed during his initial arrest on September 14, it was reported that the victim’s brother had learned of the cell phone provided by Bauer. In an attempt to keep the brother from coming forward, Bauer allegedly attempted to bribe the male with a new computer in exchange for his silence in the matter.

Bauer is currently being house in the Tygart Valley Regional jail on a $150,000 cash or surety bond amount.




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