2013-11-20 / Front Page

Pennington pleads to federal sex crimes, awaits sentencing

Anthony Pennington Anthony Pennington AWarfordsburg, Pa. man, formerly of Berkeley Springs, has agreed to plead guilty in federal court to transporting a minor from Berkeley Springs across state lines in order to have sexual contact with her.

According to Deputy Cliff Coburn of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, Anthony Allen Pennington, 24, of Warfordsburg agreed to plead guilty to Traveling in Interstate Commerce with the Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct before Judge Gina Groh in U.S District Court last Wednesday, November 13.

Pennington was supposed to stand trial yesterday, November 19, for Transportation in Interstate Commerce of a Minor for Purposes of Engaging in Sexual Activity and one count of Traveling in Interstate Commerce with the Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct. He had been indicted in federal court on those charges in September. He entered a plea bargain on the final day allowed by the court.

The charges stem from an incident on May 18, 2013.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jarod Douglas of the Northern District in Martinsburg has handled the case for the U.S. Department of Justice with the assistance of Deputy Coburn.

Pennington, who registered on West Virginia’s Sex Offender List last spring, had apparently moved to Warfordsburg in recent months. He is currently housed at the Eastern Regional Jail in Martinsburg in lieu of $130,000 bail.

He is expected to be sentenced by Judge Groh in March of 2014. According to Coburn, Pennington will face up to 30 years in federal prison for the crime, and will be subject to supervised probation for at least five years after his release, though that supervision may continue for the rest of his life.

Pennington is facing additional charges in lower courts. He has been charged with sexual assault by the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department and charges of child pornography are still pending from the West Virginia State Police, said Coburn.

Pennington was indicted by the Morgan County Grand Jury in April 2009 on multiple counts of sexual assault in the third degree of a teenaged child. In May 2010 he pled guilty to the charge. His prison sentence of one to five years was suspended for five years probation and counseling, according to court records.

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