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Press Release

Man Sentenced for Sex Trafficking Minors in the Philippines

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

U.S. Attorney Gregory J. Haanstad for the Eastern District of Wisconsin joins Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr., of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, in announcing Donald A. Stenson, 67, of West Allis, Wisconsin, was sentenced today to ten years in prison for sex trafficking multiple minors in the Philippines. He was also ordered to pay $40,000 in restitution and a $10,000 special assessment.  Following his release from prison, Stenson will spend ten years on supervised release.

According to court documents, Stenson traveled to the Philippines on multiple occasions starting in 2007 and repeatedly engaged in sexual activity with minors there.  Between 2016 and 2019, Stenson lured five minor victims between the ages of approximately 11 and 17 into commercial sex arrangements, engaged in sexual activity with the victims, and then provided them with money and gifts.

A search of Stenson’s electronic devices uncovered multiple images and videos of the minor victims, including a video depicting Stenson engaging in sex acts with a minor. The search also uncovered sexually explicit messages with minors and messages in which Stenson discussed with John Burgdorff about engaging in sex acts with the minor victims.  Burgdorff traveled with Stenson to the Philippines, and Stenson encouraged the victims to meet with Burgdorff, who then also engaged them in commercial sexual activity.

Stenson was identified based on a CyberTipline Report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).  Stenson and Burgdorff were both arrested at Burgdorff’s residence in West Allis and charged as co-defendants in connection with their sex trafficking of these minor victims.  On November 3, 2022, Burgdorff was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor in a foreign place.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Milwaukee, HSI’s Manila Transnational Criminal Investigation Unit, and Philippine Authorities investigated the case.

Trial Attorney William G. Clayman of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Megan J. Paulson and Abbey M. Marzick of the Eastern District of Wisconsin prosecuted the case, with assistance from CEOS Trial Attorney Kaylynn Foulon. 

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

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Updated June 2, 2023