Local man charged with online sex solicitation of Georgia teen

A Berkeley Springs man has been charged with felony solicitation of a minor for prohibited sexual activity and use of obscene material to seduce a minor following an investigation by police in Georgia and the West Virginia State Police.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Morgan County Magistrate Court, officers arrested Joel G. Patton, 39, with the two felony charges after being contacted by a sheriff’s deputy in Georgia about an investigation with links to Morgan County.

Police said an undercover individual posing as a 14-year-old female had received two images via Facebook Messenger of Patton in the nude with sexual postures.

When the undercover individual asks Patton if it’s a problem that she is 14 years old, he allegedly indicates that it’s okay with him as long as she doesn’t tell anyone.

Patton then allegedly proposes several sexual activities between the two of them and offers her $1,000 for engaging in some of those activities.

According to police, the messages continued through April 1, with Patton offering her money, suggesting he travel to Georgia to be with her and sending pictures of himself. During that time, he also allegedly messages the undercover individual and says he has a 16-year-old friend who lets him perform sexual acts on her weekly.

Patton is being held at the Eastern Regional Jail in lieu of a $25,000 bond.