New Jersey Sex Offender Sentenced To 50 Years In Federal Prison For Traveling To Rhode Island To Engage In Sex Acts With A Minor
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Donald J. Jones, III, 50, of Pemberton, N.J., was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith to 50 years in federal prison, having been convicted at trial in May 2012, on charges of interstate travel to engage in illicit sexual acts with a minor, aggravated sexual assault, enticement of a minor, and distribution of child pornography.
In January 2013, Jones was sentenced to a mandatory term of life in federal prison, plus an additional 10 years. The First Circuit Court of Appeals has since determined that a mandatory life sentence does not apply in this case. Jones’ sentence is announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Colonel Steven G. O’DonnellSuperintendent of the Rhode Island State Police; Shelly A. Binkowski, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division; and Michael S. Shea, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for New England.
Jones was arrested by federal agents and the Rhode Island State Police on April 8, 2011, after he traveled by bus from Philadelphia to Providence, expecting to meet with an eight-year-old girl and her father. Jones communicated for nearly three weeks via the Internet and by phone with a person he believed was the girl’s father, when in fact he was communicating with federal agents assigned to the Rhode Island State Police Computer Crimes Unit/Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.
According to the government’s evidence presented at trial, on March 21, 2011, Jones posted a message on an adult Internet forum seeking a parent willing to allow him to have sex with their pre-pubescent child. The message was discovered by a postal inspector assigned to the RI ICAC who responded, posing as the father of an eight-year-old Rhode Island girl.
Jones and the agent exchanged numerous emails which evolved from the parent purporting to have an interest in allowing Jones to have sex with his daughter, to Jones at first describing and then emailing videos of child pornography in an effort to depict his intentions. They also had numerous telephone conversations, including conversations during which a female Providence Police officer posed as the young girl.
Jones was previously convicted on three occasions in the state of New Jersey for crimes against children, including child pornography and aggravated sexual assault of a child under the age of thirteen.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen G. Dambruch and Leslie J. Kane.
The Rhode Island State Police ICAC, U.S. Postal Inspectors and Homeland Security Investigations agents in Rhode Island were assisted in the investigation by Providence Police, Homeland Security Investigations in New Jersey and the U.S. Marshals Service.
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 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. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”
To assist the media and the public, a glossary of federal judicial terms and procedures is available at http://www.justice.gov/usao/justice101/