Man charged with seeking illicit sex
KENOVA — A Kentucky man is behind bars, accused of traveling to Kenova to engage in illicit sexual activity with an individual he believed to be a 14-year-old girl.
A criminal complaint filed Sept. 13 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia states that Richard Gerald Caudill Jr., 46, knowingly traveled from Kentucky to Kenova for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with another person after an undercover officer posed online as the girl.
Conversations Caudill Jr. between Caudill and an Ashland police officer posing on an application called Kik led to an FBI investigation for probable cause.
Kik Messenger is a free instant messaging application, accessed by various mobile devices, that allows users to text, chat and share photographs, videos and other information. It runs off of data or Wi-Fi and provides a platform for finding people who are available to chat and have similar interests.
Users can send out an open invitation, search for specific users or seek out new friends based on profile details. Different levels of privacy are available on each user’s account and can be shared with specific users, no users or only themselves.
The complaint states that on or about Aug. 11, the undercover officer of the Ashland Police Department participated in a group chat room on Kik posing as a 14-year-old female.
On that same day, the officer received a private message from a user described as “501bigdaddy Big D,” who is identified as Caudill in the criminal complaint.
The defendant continued to communicate until Aug. 28 via private messages on Kik with the officer, who continued to pose as a 14-year-old girl.
According to the complaint, the defendant asked sexually explicit questions pertaining to the female’s body, gave details about his body and discussed previous and future sexual acts.
After Caudill “enthusiastically” discussed specifics for meeting the female, he left Kentucky on the night of Aug. 28 and traveled to Kenova, where he was arrested at the set meeting place by West Virginia State Police.
Police conducting a search of Caudill found condoms, a cellphone and a loaded gun.
Caudill is being held in Western Regional Jail on a $100,000 cash-only bond.