POCATELLO, Idaho — James Russell Ashley, 46, of Augusta, Georgia, and Wayne Allen Ginnis, 28, of Seattle, Washington, were indicted today by a federal grand jury in Pocatello, Idaho, for transporting a minor in interstate commerce with intent to have sexual activity with the minor, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Ashley was arraigned this afternoon in United States District Court in Pocatello. He entered a not guilty plea to the indictment. The case is set for trial on October 18, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge. Ginnis is in state custody in Texas and has not yet appeared on the indictment.
The indictment alleges that on or about May 2, 2011, Ashley and Ginnis purchased bus tickets for two girls, ages 12 and 13, both from Pocatello, to travel to Hollywood, California, with the intent to engage in sexual activity with the girls. The girls and the men met on an Internet game site and later talked by cell phone. The girls were intercepted by police in St. George, Utah, and returned to their home.
The charge of transporting a minor in interstate commerce with intent to have sexual activity with the minor is punishable by a minimum term of ten years up to life in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to lifetime supervised release.
The case was investigated by the Pocatello Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Marshals Service.
An indictment is a means of charging a person with criminal activity. It is not evidence. The person is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.