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Raleigh County man sentenced to prison for sex offense involving minor

WARNING: This following story does contain subject matter that some may find disturbing.

BECKLEY, W. Va. (WVVA) - United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced today that a man in Raleigh County was sentenced to prison for a sex crime involving a minor.

Gary Wayne Lilly, 40, of Josephine, W. Va., was sentenced to 46 months in prison for traveling in interstate commerce with the intent to engage in illicit sexual activity with a minor.

Once he is released from prison, Lilly will serve a term of supervised release of 10 years and will be required to register as a sex offender.

“The depravity of these types of cases is difficult to fathom,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “But make no mistake, my office protects children. It is my top priority to hold these predators accountable.”

Lilly previously admitted that in May of 2019 he communicated via social messaging application and telephone with a minor who he believed was a 13-year old girl in Bluefield.

During the conversations, Lilly discussed meeting the minor female to engage in oral sex and sexual intercourse.

On June 1, 2019, Lilly traveled from Josephine, West Virginia to Bluefield, Virginia, to meet the purported 13-year-old minor.

Lilly stopped in Princeton on his way to Bluefield, Virginia in order to purchase condoms.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office.

United States District Judge Frank Volk imposed the sentence.

Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Rada Herrald handled the prosecution.

This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative of the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:19-cr-00161.

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