New Hampshire Man Pleads Guilty to Child Exploitation Charges
BOSTON – A New Hampshire man pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston to traveling to have sex with a minor and child pornography offenses.
Donald Gibson, 38, of Nashua, N.H., pleaded guilty to traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a person under 18 years of age, distribution of child pornography and transportation of child pornography. U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani scheduled sentencing for June 11, 2021. Gibson was arrested and charged by criminal complaint in February 2020.
Gibson communicated via various text messaging applications with an undercover agent and devised a plan to meet the agent and his purported 13-year-old daughter in a hotel room in Tewksbury on Feb. 5, 2020. During the conversations, Gibson distributed child pornography to the undercover agent. On Feb. 5th, Gibson drove from New Hampshire to the Tewksbury hotel. Law enforcement agents intercepted Gibson as he was entering the hotel and found him in possession of a newly-purchased, unopened box of condoms, $90 cash, and a cell phone. The forensic analysis of the phone Gibson had on his person revealed child pornography organized in several folders.
During a consensual interview with agents, Gibson admitted that, during their conversations, he had given the undercover agent suggestions for how the undercover agent could start having sexual contact with his daughter, and that they had discussed meeting at the hotel so that they three of them (Gibson, the undercover agent and the 13-year-old daughter) could have sex. Gibson indicated that he planned to give the undercover agent more child pornography.
The charge of traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a person under 18 years of age provides for a sentence of up to 30 years in prison. The charges of distribution and transportation of child pornography both provide for a mandatory minimum term of five years and up to 20 years in prison. All three charges carry a term five years and up to life of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Tewksbury Police Chief Ryan M. Columbus; and Nashua (N.H.) Police Chief Michael Carignan made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne Paruti, Lelling’s Project Safe Childhood Coordinator and Deputy Chief of the Major Crimes Unit, is prosecuting the case.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.