Sexual Predator Used Snapchat, Grindr to Solicit Teenagers at Boarding School in Southwest Virginia

ABINGDON, Va. – A North Carolina man, who used the social media platforms Snapchat and Grindr to target teenage boys from Southwest Virginia, pleaded guilty today to federal charges.

Jonathan Avery Shumate, 53, of Warrensville, North Carolina, pleaded guilty today to coercion and enticement of minors.

According to court documents, Shumate used both Snapchat and Grindr to contact teenage males attending Oak Hill Academy in Grayson County, Virginia, and offered to provide vapes and vaping materials in exchange for the sixteen- and seventeen-year-old boys sending him sexually explicit photographs and nude videos of themselves. In addition to communicating online, Shumate traveled to Oak Hill Academy to deliver the vaping supplies, and also offered to provide oral sex for the juveniles while requesting that they perform oral sex for him.

Shumate is scheduled to be sentenced on June 21, 2022 and faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh and Stanley M. Meador, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division, made the announcement.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, and the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lena L. Busscher is prosecuting the case.