Man accused of assault faces federal charges

Saturday, July 26, 2003

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A man accused of assaulting two children in discount stores in West Virginia and Kentucky allegedly told another person that he was "really in trouble" because he had used a knife in one attack, the FBI said in a criminal complaint.

The complaint charged Allen Dwayne Coates, 37, of Irvington, Ky., with travel in interstate commerce with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a juvenile.

A federal arrest warrant was issued against Coates after the complaint was filed Wednesday in U.S. Magistrate Court in Charleston, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Kasey Warner said Friday.

Coates also faces state charges in West Virginia and Kentucky.

He is accused of assaulting an 11-year-old girl on July 12 at a Target store in South Charleston and trying to assault a 9-year-old girl a day earlier at a Wal-Mart store in Ashland, Ky.

He is charged in West Virginia with sexual assault, kidnapping and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, and is charged in Kentucky with first-degree attempted sodomy. He is to undergo a competency evaluation before entering a plea on the state charges.

After the South Charleston incident, Coates returned to Irvington and contacted someone, identified only as a confidential source, when he saw a television news report of the assaults that included surveillance video from the Target store, according to the complaint.

The video showed a man stalking a young girl and then walking quickly down an aisle, leading the 11-year-old girl by the wrist.

Coates allegedly told the source that he panicked when he saw his image on the video, the complaint said.

He also said he "still had a strong urge to engage in this sort of conduct" after the Ashland incident. He said he decided to "get out of Kentucky" and went to West Virginia so "things wouldn't catch up with him as fast," according to the complaint.

Coates said he would be "really in trouble for this one" and "I'll go down for this one," referring to the West Virginia assault, because he had used a knife, the complaint said.

Bond for Coates has been set in the Ashland case at $200,000, and $500,000 on the West Virginia charges.

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