Fairfax Man Sentenced for Downloading Child Sexual Abuse Videos and Images, Including Computer-Generated Material
NORFOLK, Va. – An Angola, New York, man pleaded guilty today to producing child sexual abuse material.
According to court documents, Donovan Chaplin, 23, was convicted in April 2022 in the Court for the County of Erie, New York, of sexual abuse in the first degree involving a victim less than eleven years old. In November 2022, while serving a period of probation for that offense, Chaplin began an online chat conversation with Jane Doe, a 15-year-old girl living in Franklin. Chaplin falsely told Jane Doe he was himself a minor and engaged in an online conversation with her for about two and a half months. Their conversation was highly sexually explicit, and Chaplin eventually persuaded Jane Doe to take and send him sexually explicit pictures of herself.
After Jane Doe’s family discovered and reported the chat to law enforcement, agents from the FBI executed a search warrant at Chaplin’s residence. Chaplin admitted to chatting with Jane Doe. A search warrant of Chaplin’s account on the chatting application revealed numerous sexually explicit chats with approximately 40 other purported minors as young as 13 years old between November 2022 and February 2023. Chaplin had requested of about 23 of those individuals to create and share sexually explicit images of themselves with him.
Chaplin is scheduled to be sentenced on March 22, 2024. He faces a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison and a maximum penalty of 50 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Brian Dugan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Miller accepted the plea.
Assistant U.S. Attorney E. Rebecca Gantt is prosecuting the case.
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 U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
In 2021, EDVA launched “UnMasked,” a community-based educational outreach and prevention program in Virginia dedicated to raising awareness and educating the community about the prevalence of online sexual exploitation involving children and young adults. UnMasked is a multi-disciplinary partnership of local, state, federal, and non-profit stakeholders. The core curriculum is provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s (NCMEC) NetSmartz program. To report an incident involving online sexual exploitation, call 1-800-843-5678 or submit a report at report.cybertip.org. To request an UnMasked event at your school or organization, please contact EDVA’s Community Outreach Coordinator at USAVAE-UnMasked@usdoj.gov.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:23-cr-110.