BY Richard Moorhead, The Western JournalFebruary 13, 2023
1 year ago

Owner of Coffee Shop Covered in 'Love Is Love' and Pride Flags Arrested, Accused of Heinous Crimes Against Children

The owner of a West Virginia coffee shop has been arrested and charged with sexual crimes against children.

Michael Cline, 47, was arrested on child pornography and sexual assault charges on Thursday, according to WOWK-TV in Huntington.

Cline is the owner of Hot Cup Coffee Shop in Logan, West Virginia.

An image of the shop reveals the storefront decked with progressive imagery, including LGBT "pride" flags and the phrase "Love is love," commonly linked to the gay rights movement.

A profile of the business describes it as a Harry Potter-themed coffee shop.

Cline faces a charge of first-degree sexual assault stemming from an incident in 2001, according to West Virginia MetroNews.

That victim told West Virginia state police he had sexually assaulted her in a mall restroom when she was 11 years old, according to WCHS-TV.

Another girl's criminal complaint resulted in charges of second-degree sexual assault and possession of child pornography.

According to WCHS, police said Cline received about 100 nude photos of her through Facebook Instant Messenger from 2015 to 2016, when she was a minor.

"The complaint also said the alleged victim reported she had four years of violent sexual encounters with Cline, including instances when he allegedly punched her in the face, slammed her head against the wall and would mentally control her by only allowing her to eat grapes, beef jerky and drink water," the outlet reported.

A third victim's account led to a charge of solicitation of obscene material from a minor, MetroNews reported.

Logan County Prosecuting Attorney David Wandling raised the possibility of more charges.

“Since this dates back 20 years, I think it’s possible there are more victims. Of course this is an ongoing investigation,” Wandling said, according to MetroNews.

“I believe there were similar grooming techniques in place in all three incidents.”

Wandling also described the criminal case against Cline as gravely serious, according to WOWK.

“They are very graphic; they are very violent; they involve children," the prosecutor said of the allegations. "They are among the most serious allegations that I have seen on a case like this."

Law enforcement began an investigation involving Cline following social media posts about three weeks ago, according to Wandling.

Cline was booked into the Southwestern Regional Jail after authorities acted on an arrest warrant last week.

He's jailed on a $500,000 cash bond, with a preliminary hearing scheduled within 10 days as of Friday, according to MetroNews.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Richard Moorhead, The Western Journal

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