Parkersburg Police arrest and charge two men for soliciting a minor

WTAP News @ 6
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 6:09 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Following two separate investigations into solicitation, the Parkersburg Police Department arrested and charged two men during the last two months for soliciting a minor according to a news release on its Facebook page.

During its investigation into James Ricky Wiggins, 55 of Dawsonville, Georgia, the Parkersburg Police Department began chatting with Wiggins in December 2022 on social media whom Wiggins believed to be a 15-year-old female.

Wiggins spoke about engaging in sexual activities with the 15-year-old female and sent numerous images of his face and full body images. Wiggins also sent numerous videos of himself engaging in sexual activities with himself and also attempted to solicit the female to send nude photographs of herself and engage in sexual activities via a video chat so he could watch.

During the investigation, investigators learned Wiggins was a deputy county coroner with the Dawson County Georgia Coroners Office and was employed at a local funeral home. After Parkersburg Police contacted the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, they conducted their own investigation and drafted a search warrant on Wiggins’ residence. Following the search, investigators allegedly found Wiggins to be in possession of child pornography.

On January 10, a Parkersburg Police investigator traveled to Georgia to meet with GBI investigators and took Wiggins into custody.

Wiggins was placed in the Dawson County Jail on two counts of sexual exploitation of children, filed by GBI investigators, and for being a fugitive from justice from West Virginia where he has been charged with the use of obscene matter with intent to seduce a minor.

Parkersburg Police officers traveled to Dawson County and extradited Wiggins to Parkersburg on January 20 where he will appear before a Wood County Magistrate Friday at which time a bond will be set.

In the second case investigating Christopher Allen Payton, 33 of Marietta, Ohio, the Parkersburg Police Department began chatting with Payton in January 2023 on social media whom Payton believed to be a 15-year-old female.

Payton spoke about engaging in sexual activities with the juvenile female and sent numerous pictures of his face and three pictures of his genitalia to the female. He then traveled to a location in Parkersburg on January 17 to meet the juvenile female to engage in sexual activities where he was met by law enforcement and taken into custody.

Payton was charged with one count of soliciting a minor via a computer. He was arraigned in Wood County Magistrate Court where his bond was set at $35,000. Payton failed to post bond and was placed in the North Central Regional Jail.

Anyone with information about other cases of child exploitation is asked to contact their local law enforcement agency or report via the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Cyber Tip Line at