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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 23, 2018

Fairfield Man Pleads Guilty To Attempted Online Enticement Of A Minor

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Donald Threatt, age 67, of Fairfield, California, pleaded guilty today to attempted online enticement of a minor, United States Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced. 

According to court documents, in April of 2017, Threatt began conversing through the Kik messenger service with an individual who identified herself as “Sarah,” a 15-year-old girl who was interested in online games, soccer, and track. Off and on over the course of many days, Threatt used Kik to tell “Sarah” the various sexual things he wanted to allow him to do to her. The defendant discussed and agreed with the purported minor that he would visit her residence on Beale Air Force Base while her mother was away. According to the Kik chat, the defendant suggested blindfolding her and tying her up with rope.  He stated that he would engage in various sexual acts with her and proposed that they take photos and a video of their sexual activity. Threatt arranged to meet her at her residence on May 12, 2017, after her mother had left for the weekend. 

Unbeknownst to Threatt, the minor was actually an undercover law enforcement agent.  On the day of the planned meeting, law enforcement personnel surveilled Threatt as he left his home in Fairfield, purchased rope from a Lowe’s Home Improvement store, and drove to the house where the meeting with the minor was to occur. Threatt was arrested after he pulled into the garage of the house. In Threatt’s car, agents found a GoPro camera, a Nikon camera, a Samsung camcorder, a tripod, rope, and various sexual items. 

According to court documents, this was not the first time Threatt attempted to prey on a child. Agents searched Threatt’s residence and seized a computer hard drive containing approximately 800 internet chats from 2008. Together, those communications showed the defendant had been communicating with several girls under the age of 18.  In those communications, Threatt discussed how he wanted to have sexual relations with the underage girls and repeatedly solicited and received nude photographs from at least one minor. In addition, in 2013, Threatt was arrested after he used email to attempt to persuade someone he believed to be a 15-year-old girl to meet with him to have sex. In reality, the defendant was communicating with an undercover law enforcement officer. 

This case was the product of an investigation by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew D. Segal, Jeremy J. Kelley, and Katherine T. Lydon are prosecuting the case.

Threatt remains in custody and is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley on December 6, 2018. Threatt faces a mandatory minimum of ten years in prison and a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison as well as a $250,000 fine.  The actual sentence, however, will be determined by the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.  

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about internet safety education.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 
2:17-cr-076-TLN
Updated August 23, 2018