Lower Salem man sentenced to 25 years in prison for sexual exploitation of minors | News, Sports, Jobs

Lower Salem man sentenced to 25 years in prison for sexual exploitation of minors | News, Sports, Jobs

James A. Sabolick

COLUMBUS — A Lower Salem man was sentenced Tuesday in federal court to 25 years in prison for sexually exploiting minors in the United States and the Philippines.

James A. Sabolick, 58, brought a West Virginia minor to his Washington County hunting cabin to engage in illicit sexual acts and sent money to Filipino women for basic living expenses in exchange for child sexual abuse material, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Sabolick pleaded guilty in January to two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of possession of child pornography, the statement said.

The release states that court documents show that on July 24, 2021, Marietta police conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Sabolick and he told officers he was alone as he attempted to conceal a minor female in the vehicle, whom officers found in the back seat.

After further investigation by the Southeast Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, it was discovered that Sabolick drove the minor from West Virginia to a cabin near his residence in Washington County to engage in various sexual acts with the minor, the release said.

“Some sexual acts involved abuse such as needle sticks, burning with lighters, restraints, strangulation and urination,” the statement said.

According to the release, pantyhose, lubricant and a box of T-pins were recovered from Sabolick’s vehicle during the investigation and Sabolick photographed the minor during the sexual abuse.

The statement said court documents show that Sabolick met the minor when she was approximately 13 or 14 years old and that he had multiple communications and nude images of the minor on his phone.

According to the statement, a forensic examination of Sabolick’s electronic devices and social media accounts showed that he communicated with Filipina women he knew during trips to the Philippines in 2013 and 2014.

The statement said the women asked Sabolick for money for basic expenses and in exchange he requested sexually explicit images of the women’s minor children and offered to send them money for the child sexual abuse material.

According to the statement, one such case occurred in December 2020 when Sabolick sent money to a Filipino woman to obtain images of her daughter’s genitals.

The statement said financial records show numerous transactions to the Philippines — including to the Filipino women identified in the investigation — totaling more than $1,000 and occurring on the same days that Sabolick solicited the women for child pornography.

“We are committed to working across all levels of law enforcement to hold people accountable for their crimes, no matter where they exploit their victims,” U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Kenneth L. Parker said in the statement. “Our priority is to put perpetrators of crimes like Sabolick behind bars for meaningful periods of time so they can no longer prey on the most vulnerable. Today’s sentence does just that.”

According to the release, the case was investigated by the Southeastern Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force and the Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force.

Today’s latest news and more delivered to your inbox