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Press Release

Kennewick Man Sentenced to Ten Years Imprisonment for Attempted Enticement of a Minor

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Washington

Spokane – Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Thomas E. Lafontaine, age 35, of Kennewick, Washington, was sentenced for one count of Attempted Enticement of a Minor. Senior United States District Judge Edward F. Shea sentenced Lafontaine to a ten year term of imprisonment, to be followed by twenty-five years of court supervision after he is released from federal prison. Lafontaine will also be required to register as a sex offender.

According to information disclosed during the court proceedings, in late 2014, Lafontaine responded to a personals ad. The ad had been placed by an undercover task force officer with Homeland Security Investigations working with Southeast Regional Internet Crimes Against Children, posing as a 14-year-old girl. During a series of online communications, Lafontaine, who is a registered sex offender, graphically described different sex acts that he would like to perform on the child. Eventually, Lafontaine discussed meeting the child, at a specific location, for sex.

Lafontaine drove to the meet location, and was observed as he circled the location for about thirty minutes. He later contacted the undercover officer, whom he believed to be a child, and chastised her for standing him up. Lafontaine was arrested shortly thereafter. Lafontaine’s electronic devices were searched, and evidence was discovered that he had discussions with at least three other minors aged twelve to fourteen about sexual acts he would like to perform on the minors.

At sentencing Lafontaine said he was “disgusted and ashamed” of his actions. Senior District Judge Shea stated Lafontaine posed a “genuine threat to the public.” Judge Shea indicated, “This was an extremely serious offense,” noting Lafontaine went beyond the online discussions and actually got in his car and drove to meet a child for sex.

Michael C. Ormsby stated, “The sentence handed down provides fair and just punishment for this offense, particularly given Lafontaine’s past conduct.” He further stated, “This investigation is yet another demonstration of the dedication of law enforcement officers and their willingness to ferret out those who intend to victimize children.”

“This joint federal, state and local agency investigation illustrates the lengths to which law enforcement will go to bring a child predator to justice,” said Brad Bench, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Seattle. “Now, with this federal sentence, the public can rest assured Lafontaine will spend a decade behind bars, followed by close federal monitoring for many more years.”

This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the United States 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 individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. The Project Safe Childhood Initiative (“PSC”) has five major components:

· Integrated federal, state, and local efforts to investigate and prosecute child exploitation cases, and to identify and rescue children;

· Participation of PSC partners in coordinated national initiatives;

· Increased federal enforcement in child pornography and enticement cases;

· Training of federal, state, and local law enforcement agents; and

· Community awareness and educational programs.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit . For information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

This investigation was conducted by the Homeland Security Investigations and the Southeast Regional ICAC. The case was prosecuted by Alison L. Gregoire, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.



Updated March 16, 2016

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 15-CR-6017-EFS