Raleigh County man sentenced for sex offense involving a minor

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY)- A Raleigh County man was sentenced to federal prison for a sex crime involving a minor, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.

Gary Wayne Lilly, 40, of Josephine, was sentenced to 46 months in prison for traveling in interstate commerce with the intent to engage in illicit sexual activity with a minor. Upon release 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 beginning in late May 2019 he communicated via a social messaging application and telephone with a minor he believed to be 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 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 www.justice.gov/psc.