BLUEFIELD, W.Va. – A McDowell County woman and a Virginia man were each sentenced to federal prison today for child pornography offenses.
Lacosta Steele, 25, of Iaeger, was sentenced to 15 years while Nicholas Aaron Icenhour, 25, of Tazewell, Va., was sentenced to 22 and one-half years during separate hearings. The prison sentences are to be followed by supervised release terms of 30 years for Icenhour and 20 years for Steele. Both are required to register as sex offenders upon their release from prison.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in October and November 2020 Icenhour directed Steele, his then-girlfriend, to persuade a 12-year-old girl to engage in sexually explicit conduct, including masturbation and the lascivious exhibition of her genitals, for the purpose of creating videos of this conduct. Steele then sent those videos to Icenhour. Steele also transported the same 12-year-old girl, at Icenhour’s direction, to R.D. Bailey Lake where he engaged in sexual intercourse with the minor.
Icenhour pleaded guilty to production of child pornography in January 2022. Steele pleaded guilty to distribution of child pornography in December 2021.
U.S. Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the West Virginia State Police and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
“It is vital that we do all we can to stop such predators,” Thompson said. “The harm they cause our children, and our communities, is as far-reaching as it is tragic.”
Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber imposed the sentences. The court called Icenhour’s conduct “outrageous and inexcusable” during the sentencing hearing. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Rada Herrald prosecuted the case.
This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative of the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:21-cr-00187.