Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

June 13, 2014

‘Magical warlock’ indicted

BLUEFIELD — A man who police say used a promise of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him has been indicted by the Mercer County grand jury on multiple counts of sexual assault and sexual abuse.

James “Jim” Irvin, 57, of Bluefield, who claims to be a “magical warlock,” was indicted on multiple counts of sexual assault first-degree, sexual abuse first-degree and sexual abuse by a parent or guardian, Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ash said Thursday.

The grand jurors concluded their deliberations on Wednesday. Irvin was back in court Thursday where he was seeking a bond reduction before Circuit Court Judge William Sadler. Sadler rejected the motion for the bond reduction, but agreed to change the current $100,000 cash-only bond to a $100,000 surety bond with the requirement of home confinement, and the requirement that Irvin have no contact with the victims and their families and children, or other children, according to Assistant Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney John McGinnis.

Irvin has not yet made bond, and remains incarcerated, McGinnis said. The surety bond means Irvin must post more than $100,000 worth of property, or $10,000 in cash, which is 10 percent of the $100,000 bond. McGinnis said Irvin is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

An investigation which began in early April revealed that Irwin was practicing paganism and wicca, a more modern religion of witchcraft. According to an earlier report by Detective  K.L. Adams of the Bluefield Police Department, Irwin allegedly used his religion to befriend the children and ultimately sexually abuse them.

The victims in the case were 3, 9 and 13 years of age at the time of the alleged abuse.

Adams said the investigation revealed that Irwin was a practicing pagan and wiccan, and used his religion to allegedly get close to the children and ultimately sexually abuse them. Adams said the investigation found that Irvin allegedly told two of the children he would perform magical acts on their mother, who was sick at the time, if they would participate in the sexual abuse.

Ash said Irwin will be arraigned on the indictment charges on June 23.

— Contact Charles Owens at cowens@bdtonline.com

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