WILLIAMSON - An investigation by the West Virginia State Police (WVSP), with assistance from the Kentucky State Police (KSP), resulted in the arrest of a husband and wife on numerous charges relating to performing alleged sexual acts via the internet with two female juveniles.
According to the criminal complaints filed in Mingo County Magistrate Court Thursday afternoon by WVSP Trooper First Class D.C. Moore and Trooper T.G. Kania III, Justin Lee Wellman, 24, and Alandra Deseray Wellman, 22, of Hatfield, Ky., did engage in an online relationship with underage females by chat and video conversation that included sexually explicit content and nude photographs. The arrest reports cannot be published in their entirety because of the detailed and graphic description of the alleged sexually explicit acts committed.
Justin was currently employed with the Mingo County Board of Education as a custodian at the Matewan Middle School and Alandra had resigned from her position as a special-needs aid at Burch Elementary in January of this year. The Wellmans are the parents of 2 young children. Social Services in Pike County, Ky. were called to the scene to assume custody of the children, who were placed in the home of a family member.
The WVSP began an in-depth investigation into these matters after the parent of one of the juveniles filed a complaint and provided them with damaging evidence she found on a social media site her daughter frequented. Once the officers spoke with the victim, they received information about the second teen and arrest warrants were issued for the Wellmans’.
“The mother found information on Facebook and brought it to us,” stated Trooper Kania. “We have worked for 36 hours around the clock on this case and we received full cooperation and assistance from the Kentucky State Police, since the defendants resided in Pike County. After speaking with both female victims whose stories contained the same details, we were able to wrap up the case and make the arrests.”
Trooper Kania told the Daily News that Justin began the first of two online relationships with a 13 year-old on November 1, 2012 that continued until March 5 of this year. The defendant is said to have engaged in sexual acts by chat and video conversation and had multiple conversations of a sexual nature in which the defendant solicited the victim for sex. The defendant viewed pictures of male genitals and the breast of a female while chatting with the victim. He is also accused of having the victim pose in her underwear while chatting on a webcam. According to the criminal complaint, Justin confessed to the officers about such acts that had occurred.
The second online relationship allegedly pursued by Justin began one month ago with a 14 year-old and also ended on March 5, the day the WVSP investigation began. The defendant is said to have solicited the female to engage in sexual acts with his wife, Alandra, by chat and video conversation. Sexual acts
between the couple were performed while actively involved in a video chat with the juvenile. The defendant conversed with the victim on multiple occasions that contained sexually explicit content.
Alandra allegedly began an online relationship with the 14 year-old on Feb. 1, 2013 and solicited the female to have sex and to perform sexual acts. The defendant solicited the victim by chat and video conversation. The officers observed such conversations to contain sexually explicit content, as well as numerous inappropriate web site addresses that were exchanged between the victim and the defendant. Nude photographs were also exchanged during the internet conversation. Troopers Moore and Kania stated that the defendant did confess to these allegations during questioning.
The defendants were arraigned by Mingo County Chief Magistrate Dallas Toler and were remanded to the custody of the Southwestern Regional Jail at Holden and will have their preliminary hearings within a ten day period.
The charges against Justin include two counts each of soliciting a minor via the internet; use of a minor to assist doing sexually explicit conduct; conspire to commit a felony; and one count of child erotica. Chief Magistrate Toler set bond for the defendant at $100,000, full-cash.
Alandra was charged with conspire to commit a felony; soliciting a minor via the internet; use of obscene matter with intent to seduce a minor; prohibiting child erotica; use of a minor to assist in doing sexually explicit conduct and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The bond for the defendant stands at $60,000, full-cash.
Magistrate Toler expressed his feelings about this case and the allegations against the husband and wife, saying crimes against children affect him the most.
“Law enforcement officials and members of our judicial system in Mingo County will not tolerate these types of crimes,” stated Toler. “I hope that this arrest sends a strong message to everyone that if you prey on children – you will go to jail. As a parent, I firmly believe that sexual crimes against children are the most heinous.”