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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Former Pasco Teacher Sentenced To Fifteen Years For Online Enticement Of A Minor

Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew today sentenced David Wendel Thompson (49, Seffner) to 15 years in federal prison for online enticement of a minor.  The Court also sentenced him to 10 years of supervision following his release following his release from prison. Thompson pleaded guilty on October 20, 2014.

According to court documents, 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 denied entry into Belize and returned to Miami, where he was arrested. Thompson admitted to communicating with the girls 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.

“Crimes against children are always devastating, but it is particularly egregious when a person of trust, like this teacher, conspires to commit such atrocities,” said Susan L. McCormick, special agent in charge of HSI Tampa. “This case is the result of hard work by HSI special agents in Tampa, Miami and the Cyber Crimes Center, as well as our partners at the U.S. Department of State.”

“The Diplomatic Security Service maintains an excellent relationship with local law enforcement personnel. This close cooperation between our agents and local law enforcement was key to David Wendel Thompson’s capture,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge David Brown of the DSS Miami Field Office. “It is this type of worldwide law enforcement coordination that gives Diplomatic Security an unparalleled ability to locate, pursue, and apprehend fugitives.” 

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 was 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.justice.gov/psc.   

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated May 7, 2015