State Troopers conducted a search Friday morning at the Hot Cup Coffee Shop after a weekend of allegations against the owner for inappropriate relationships and grooming minors for sex.
AM STONE | WVOW News
LOGAN West Virginia State Police executed a search warrant on the Hot Cup Coffee Shop in downtown Logan Friday morning.
The Hot Cup has long been a hang-out and meet-up location for many residents over the last decade. The self-described “coolest, classiest place in Logan” was the talk of the town last Saturday night January 21 due to a single social media post that gained traction.
A victim alleged she was a teenager when she first met shop owner Michael Cline and seventeen when she began a sexual relationship with him.
She described a relationship of secrecy, violence, abuse and grooming minors for violent sexual habits. Posts were accompanied by photos displaying bruises and markings she claimed to be caused by Cline.
The post on Facebook received more than a thousand shares, reactions and hundreds of comments. The post was eventually taken down, but the posts resurfaced through screen captures of the original public post.
On Sunday, additional individuals started posting their own stories.
First Sergeant M.S. Lively of the Logan Detachment of the West Virginia State Police confirmed to WVOW News, troopers were executing a search warrant.
“As far as what they recovered,” Sergeant Lively said, “I don’t even know that at this point. I can confirm they executed a search warrant down there this morning.”
Logan County Prosecuting Attorney David Wandling said multiple investigations are now ongoing.
“There are multiple ongoing investigations into the items which were posted on social media over the weekend,” Mr. Wandling said.
The prosecutor also confirmed the investigation is being handled exclusively by state police.
Multiple police vehicles and a mobile crime scene unit were parked along Cole Street for hours while troopers searched the White and Browning Building. Cline rechristened the building “Stark Tower” after the popular Marvel Comics’ character Iron Man.
Wandling said the prosecutor’s office is always open to victims of crime. He encourages anyone with a claim concerning this investigation or any criminal investigation to come forward.
“A prosecutor or investigator or one of our advocates can sit down and meet with you,” Wandling said.
Moreover, Wandling said his office can coordinate a level care if a victim needs a place to live, therapy or counseling.
“If there needs to be a criminal investigation conducted, we can put you in touch with the right agency,” Wandling said.
Individuals are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Calls to Mr. Cline have not been returned.