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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Former Pasco Teacher Pleads Guilty To Online Enticement Of A Minor

Tampa, FL – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that David Wendel Thompson (49, Seffner) pleaded guilty yesterday to online enticement of a minor. He faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years, up to life, in federal prison and a potential life term of supervision. His sentencing hearing is set for January 20, 2015.   According to the plea agreement, between December 14, 2013, and March 14, 2014, Thompson used Facebook to attempt to persuade two minor females in Belize, ages 13 and 15, to engage in sexual intercourse with him. He did so using his own Facebook account and a fake Facebook account that he had set up to appear as though it belonged to a female teenager in Belize.

On March 14, 2014, Thompson flew from Tampa to Belize, with a layover in Miami, to meet the minors with the intent of engaging in sexual activity. He was arrested in Miami and has remained in federal custody since that time. Thompson admitted to communicating with the females on Facebook and to knowing that they were underage. Prior to his arrest, Thompson was a social studies teacher at Centennial Middle School in Dade City.

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of State. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer L. Peresie.

It is another case 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 United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s 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.projectsafechildhood.gov

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Updated January 26, 2015