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Hot Cup owner charged with 1st & 2nd degree sexual assault, distribution material depicting minors


PHOTO | SWRJ

AM Stone | WVOW News


LOGAN West Virginia State Police arrested Michael Cline, owner of the Hot Cup Coffee Shop, Thursday evening for charges including first degree sexual assault, second degree sexual assault and distribution and exhibiting material depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.


Three separate felony charges, spanning more than twenty years, were filed in Logan County Magistrate Court.


The 47-year-old Michael Dean Cline stands accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old victim on or about March 1 to June 30 of 2001. The victim, according to the complaint, described an alleged assault in the bathroom of the On Cue Music store formerly located at the Rita Mall at Lyburn. The victim, identified as LM, told police the assault was interrupted by the sound of her mother confronting another employee about the victim’s whereabouts.


According to the complaint, Cline left the restroom once the other employee began calling his name.


The victim said she had met Mr. Cline at school dances as she was a student at Gilbert Middle School at the time of the alleged assault.


The complaint further alleges Cline contacted the victim through Instant Messenger and attempted to contact the victim through a friend of the victim.


Another victim’s statement alleged she was engaged in a personal relationship with Cline from November 2015 to October 2019.


According to the complaint, the victim alleged she sent nude photos of herself to the Cline between November 2015 and February 2016 when she turned 18. Moreover, the victim told police she was seventeen at times when the suspect took pictures of her nude or in bondage. The complaint also chronicles videos of sexual acts sent to Cline while the victim, identified as AK, was a student at Man High School.


The victim said she was brutalized by Cline with punches to her face and her head slammed against a wall the victim was tied to. According to the complaint, Cline mentally controlled her by only allowing her to eat grapes, beef jerky and drinking water to prevent her from gaining weight.


The third charge, distribution and exhibiting material depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, stems from an investigation that began in August 2020. An Internet Crimes Against Children case was assigned to Sergeant T.D. Boggs of the Logan Detachment of State Police. A cyber tip alleged a seventeen year old victim was sending nude photos to Cline through social media platform Facebook.


On Thursday, August 13 2020, warrants for the victim’s and suspect’s Facebook accounts were completed in Logan Magistrate Court.


The account of the victim, identified as 17-year-old KL, revealed sexually explicit messages. According to the complaint, the sexually explicit messages were not located during a review of the suspect’s account.


On January 27 of this year, Sergeant Boggs and Logan Prosecutor David Wandling met with the victim. According to the complaint, the victim had several Instagram messages between her and Cline including one on January 14, 2019 where the victim said it was her eighteenth birthday and Cline acknowledged it.


Allegations on social media by victims began circulating the evening of Saturday, January 21, 2023 . Hot Cup Coffee Shop in the White and Browning Building in downtown Logan has not been open since. Cline rechristened the building Stark Tower after he purchased it in 2021. State Police served a search warrant on the building a week later on January 27.


Tuesday this week black plastic was noticed hanging in the store front of the Hot Cup. Rumors have abounded of a possible sale of the building since the warrant was served two weeks ago.


Logan County Magistrate Dwight Williamson, acting on the recommendation of the prosecutor’s office, set bond of $500,000 cash only.



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