VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A sailor accused of trying to solicit sex acts from a minor faces more than a dozen felony counts, Virginia authorities announced Tuesday.
According to the Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Office, investigators from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, in cooperation with Norfolk Police and NCIS, arrested 38-year-old Michael Hartgraves after a four-month investigation.
Hartgraves is charged with 20 felonies including 16 counts of use of communication system to request minor to expose genitals, 3 counts of use of communication devise to request a sex act from a minor, and 1 count using a communication device to request a child to feel/fondle his/her own genitals.
The arrest follows a four-month long investigation during which investigators say Hartgraves unknowingly communicated with undercover agents via an internet chat room, seeking to “engage in sexual acts with a minor.”
During the chats, investigators say Hartgraves sent sexually explicit pictures and a video to a girl he though to be under the age of 18.
According to reports, Hartgraves is an active duty Chief Petty Officer in the US Navy. He works out of Joint Expeditionary Base Litle Creek-Fort Story and is a member of the Navy Special Warfare Command Small Boat Team 20.
Hartgraves’ arrest is just the latest following local investigators’ efforts to catch online predators.
Hartgraves is currently being held at the Western Tidewater Regional Jail. Officials say additional charges are possible.