A man and a woman from Fayette County were arrested and charged Friday in connection with sex trafficking a 17-year-old minor female.
Larry Allen Clay Jr., 57, and Kristen Naylor-Legg, 28, were both charged by federal criminal complaint with sex trafficking of a minor, according to a press release from the office of Lisa G. Johnston, acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia. Both Clay and Naylor-Legg were detained pending their preliminary hearings, which were scheduled on March 31.
According to the charging documents, on two separate occasions in June 2020, Clay, who at the time was an employee of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department and the chief of police for the Gauley Bridge Police Department, rendered payments of $50 to Naylor-Legg to have sex with a 17-year-old minor female relative of Naylor-Legg. According to the criminal complaints, Naylor-Legg accompanied the victim and was present during both of the sexual encounters between Clay and the minor female victim.
The complaints further allege that, during the first incident, Clay remained in his Gauley Bridge police uniform during the entire sexual encounter and that the second incident took place inside the old Gauley Bridge High School in a location accessible to a limited number of people, including the Gauley Bridge Police Department. Law enforcement authorities were able to retrieve DNA evidence from towels and paper towels discarded in the room where the second incident allegedly took place.
If convicted, Clay and Naylor-Legg each face at least 10 years and up to life in prison, the release noted.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the West Virginia State Police and the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department are conducting the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Rada Herrald is handling the prosecution.
Members of the public are urged to report suspected instances of child sex trafficking through a toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE (1-866-347-2423) or online at www.ice.gov/tips.
According to authorities, the charges contained in the complaints are allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This case is being 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, visit www.justice.gov/psc.