An area truck driver is headed to federal prison for 15 years after pleading guilty earlier this year to impregnating a 13-year-old girl, who later gave birth to a child.
David Kyle Skaggs, 33, with addresses listed in Bonne Terre and Illinois, was charged in November 2020 with transportation with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. As part of a plea agreement reached on July 7, the man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Western District of Virginia.
At a court hearing on Thursday, a federal judge sentenced Skaggs to a term of 180 months in prison for the crime, which reportedly took place in 2015.
According to an FBI probable cause statement, on Oct. 9, 2015, a 13-year-old girl was interviewed where she lived by Child Protective Services in Lee County, Virginia, regarding an incident involving Skaggs.
The girl and her family knew Skaggs as a truck driver from Bonne Terre who worked for a trucking company. About April 2015, Skaggs initially contacted the girl through her brother, who was then 15 years old, via Facebook. Skaggs began visiting the family at their home in Lee County, Virginia, in the spring of 2015, not long after this first contact. The visits occurred about every two weeks, during which Skaggs would sleep in the camper portion of his semi-truck in the family's yard.
The report states that Skaggs' visits were authorized by the children's mother, who became friends with the man around July 2015. During the visits, Skaggs was reportedly known to make inappropriate comments to the 13-year-old girl. In one instance cited in the report, Skaggs told the girl that she was pretty and also that he thought they should be more than just friends.
During the summer of 2015, Skaggs took the girl and her brother with him on a road trip in his semi-truck with their mother's permission.
During the trip, Skaggs and the minors stopped at a truck stop in South Dakota, where he provided alcohol to them. After consuming the alcohol, Skaggs raped the girl while her brother slept in the top bunk of the semi-truck.
When the minors returned home, interviews were conducted by a social worker with the Virginia Department of Social Services and an investigator with the Lee County, Virginia, Sheriff's Office.
During the interview, the girl said that Skaggs had asked if she wanted to have sex, and she said no. Skaggs then took off her clothes and his own clothes and held her down while having sex with her. The girl recalled trying to get Skaggs off of her but said he kept holding her down and covering her mouth so she could not scream to her brother.
In or around the fall of 2015, a medical examination concluded that the girl was pregnant. She gave birth to a child in the spring of 2016.
The FBI collected DNA samples from Skaggs and from the girl's child. The DNA test results indicated Skaggs was the child's father with a probability of paternity greater than 99.999%.
FBI special agents interviewed the girl, who told them that shortly after being raped by Skaggs, she logged onto his Facebook account. She said she found messages between Skaggs and a minor, age 10, residing in Florida. She messaged the minor and warned her to stay away from Skaggs, explaining what he had just done to her. The girl told agents that the other minor responded by saying that there was no need to explain anything because Skaggs had done the same thing to her.
Skaggs was arrested on Nov. 13, 2020, in Illinois, according to court documents.
Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org