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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Traveling to the Philippines for Sex Tourism

Donald Mathias of Davie, Fla., pleaded guilty today to engaging in sex tourism in the Philippines

Mathias, 64, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William Peter Dimitrouleas in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., to four counts of traveling in foreign commerce and engaging in illicit sexual conduct. He was indicted on those charges on Oct. 27, 2009.

As part of his plea agreement, Mathias admitted that from 2005 until December 2008, he communicated and arranged with the mother of two minor females located in the Philippines, to travel to the Philippines and engage in sexual conduct with the minors. During this time, Mathias and the mother exchanged hundreds of e-mails regarding sexual activity between Mathias and the minor females, recording those sexual acts with a video camera and making payments to the mother in exchange for the sexual acts.

Mathias admitted that he traveled to the Philippines in April 2007 and again in December 2007, engaged in sexual conduct with the minors on those trips and recorded those acts with a video camera. Mathias also admitted that he made the minors sign a contract in December 2007, requiring the minors to be his sex slaves. Money transfer and e-mail records showed that Mathias sent thousands of dollars to the mother between 2005 and December 2008. Mathias also admitted that he traveled to the Philippines in December 2008 to engage in sexual conduct with the minors again. However, Filipino law enforcement detained Mathias and he was not successful in meeting the minors. On Oct. 14, 2009, the defendant was arrested by U.S. law enforcement in Miami.

As part of the plea agreement, the defendant and the government both agreed to recommend a sentence of 20 years in prison and a lifetime period of supervised release. The defendant also agreed to pay $200,000 in restitution to the victims of his crimes located in the Philippines, and agreed to transfer his real property to the United States in order to satisfy the restitution.

Sentencing has been set for March 2, 2010. At sentencing, Mathias faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, up to a $250,000 fine and the possibility of a lifetime period of supervised release.

This case was investigated by ICE’s Office of Investigations in Miami and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, with assistance from the Philippines Department of Justice. This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Anitha Ibrahim of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Marlene Rodriguez of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.

Press Release Number: 
Updated September 15, 2014