Guidance Counselor Once Honored at White House Is Charged for Child Porn

Guidance Counselor Once Honored at White House Is Charged for Child Porn 1

An elementary school guidance counselor once honored at the White House for his work with kids has been hit with federal charges for possession of child pornography, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday in Charleston, West Virginia, federal court.

Todd Christopher Roatsey, 42, came to the attention of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents in late August, when agents received a cybertip to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. A pseudonymous user on the Kik mobile messaging app had uploaded eight videos and one photo depicting “prepubescent and pubescent minors engaged in sexual activity,” the complaint states.

HSI agents traced the IP address associated with the uploads, and subpoenaed the subscriber information for the account. This led them to Roatsey’s home in Elkview, West Virginia, where he lives with his father, the complaint explains. On Oct. 27, HSI agents searched Roatsey’s house, and seized numerous electronic devices including a Samsung tablet used for the uploads, according to the complaint.

Roatsey was at home when the raid was executed. He told agents that they rented out one of their rooms on Airbnb, and that there had been “numerous guests present during the preceding months” who were given access to the WiFi network, the complaint says. But when investigators searched Roatsey’s phone and laptop, they allegedly found seven videos and 26 images containing child pornography, as well as “numerous communications” between Roatsey and “girls in the age range of late elementary school through middle school,” according to the complaint. (The Daily Beast has redacted portions of the filing, which contains extremely graphic and disturbing descriptions of what law enforcement allegedly discovered.)

Roatsey, who was arrested on Wednesday, received West Virginia’s Elementary School Counselor of the Year Award in 2015 and went to the White House the following year as the state’s national counselor representative.

“It was a black-tie event,” Roatsey told the Charleston Gazette-Mail at the time. “I was very humbled and very honored to be there and to be there on behalf of all of West Virginia.”

Roatsey is employed at Pinch Elementary in Elkview, whose mission statement is “Unleashing student potential.” His Airbnb profile notes that he enjoys “traveling, and… meeting new people,” and points out that he “was the WV National School Counselor of the Year and was honored at the White House in January by First Lady Michelle Obama.”

Although Roatsey was honored at the White House during a Democratic administration, a Twitter account under Roatsey’s name suggests a strong preference for former President Donald Trump.

Roatsey does not yet have an attorney listed in court records and was unable to be reached. Wesley Page, a public defender who was at Roatsey’s arraignment on Wednesday, told The Daily Beast he was not ultimately appointed to represent Roatsey and declined to comment further. He was ordered detained pending his next court hearing. A Pinch Elementary official hung up the phone immediately when reached for comment.