By Debra Minor Wilson
Times West Virginian
A Fairmont man was indicted by a Marion County grand jury on extortion charges during the first day of deliberations Monday in Judge Michael Aloi’s courtroom.
Robert Logan Michael, 22, of 1010 Kimberly Circle, Fairmont, was arrested July 30, 2012 by Marion County sheriff’s deputies.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Marion County Magistrate Court, Michael allegedly contacted another man via cellphone, accusing him and his brother of molesting him at 6 or 7 years old.
He allegedly demanded that the man pay him for his silence, texting, “We can settle between me and u or we can blow it up wit news and whole community. im not embarrased at all.”
Michael reportedly made arrangements to meet with the man, requesting $5,000 in cash, drugs or gold “for treatment and lawyers otherwise id ask for 50k in court,” according to the criminal complaint. He allegedly told the victim he would sell the drugs to make the requested money if the man chose to take that route.
According to the complaint, Michael accepted $400 and signed a paper promising not to pursue legal action. A deputy reportedly drove the man to Michael’s house and provided $400 in bills from the sheriff’s department, which the man placed in Michael’s mailbox.
Deputies took Michael into custody in his yard when he retrieved the money from his mailbox, the complaint says. If convicted, Michael faces one to five years in prison.
A Fairmont man and woman, both of 419 Walnut Ave., Apt. A, Fairmont, were also named in the indictments.
Melissa Shonce, 29, was indicted on grossly neglecting a child creating a substantial risk of serious bodily injury or death, and child abuse resulting in injury.