Skip to main content
Press Release

Foreign Exchange Student Coordinator Sentenced to Over 27 Years in Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Iowa

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA – A Council Bluffs man was sentenced Thursday, August 12, 2021, by United States District Court Judge Stephanie M. Rose to 327 months in prison for Coercion and Enticement of minor foreign exchange students. According to court documents, Thomas Donald Boatright, age 52, pleaded guilty to the offenses in February 2021. His prison term will be followed by 10 years of supervised release. Boatright was ordered to pay restitution to the minor victims.

Boatright worked as a foreign exchange student coordinator and host parent for a program where students from other countries enrolled in a year of high school in the United States. The students were assigned a host family to live with while they attended high school. In February 2020, a report was made by a foreign student after visiting Boatright’s residence. The student reported that a hidden camera was discovered in the bathroom. Boatright had two minor foreign students living with him as part of the exchange program. A search warrant of Boatright’s residence recovered numerous electronic devices. A forensic examination discovered numerous videos of three minor foreign exchange students in the bathroom of Boatright’s home. An investigation unveiled that Boatright used his cellular phone and computer to engage in conversations with the foreign students prior to and after arriving in the United States that were sexual in nature. Boatright used his position as a foreign exchange student coordinator and host parent to coerce and entice foreign students to engage in sexual activity after they arrived in the United States.

Acting United States Attorney Richard D. Westphal of the Southern District of Iowa made the announcement. This case was investigated by the Council Bluffs Police Department, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation - Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the United States Secret Service National Computer Forensics Institute provided computer forensic training and equipment.


Rachel J. Scherle

Updated August 23, 2021