Defendant in Custody Pending Trial
CLARKSBURG, WV—A woman from Massachusetts has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly traveling to West Virginia to have sex with a minor, according to United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II.
CARISSA HADS, age 25, of Quincy, Massachusetts, was named in a one-count indictment this week charging her with traveling in interstate commerce with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. The indictment charges that on February 23, 2012, HADS traveled from Massachusetts to north central West Virginia to have sex with a minor. Court documents indicate that HADS posed as an 18-year-old man on a social media website and also took steps to change her appearance in order to deceive the victim as to her true identity. HADS met the alleged victim online in 2010 and the two communicated for over a year before the first in-person meeting took place.
HADS traveled at least three times from Massachusetts to visit the alleged victim and was arrested at the Pittsburgh International Airport by FBI agents on May 25, 2012 on one of her visits to the area. A federal magistrate judge has ordered that HADS be detained pending trial after finding that she is danger to the community as well as a flight risk.
If convicted, HADS faces up to 30 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant. HADS is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
“The West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is to be commended in how it conducted this investigation,” said Ihlenfeld. “After the tip was received, immediate steps were taken to ensure the safety of the victim and to make sure that the suspect was held accountable.”
The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shawn A. Morgan, Chief of the Criminal Division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.