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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Washington

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 17, 2018

Bothell Man Pleads Guilty to Sex Crimes Involving 14-Year-Old Child

Defendant Met and Groomed Victim Online, Traveled to California for Sex with Victim and Produced Child Pornography

          A 24-year-old Bothell, Washington man pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to two federal charges related to his sexual molestation of a 14-year-old child, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes.  THOMAS MAHONEY faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison when sentenced by U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour on December 18, 2018.  MAHONEY was arrested in October 2017.  Today he pleaded guilty to travel with intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor and enticement of a minor.

            According to records filed in the case, Facebook notified the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about sexual conversations and photos being exchanged between an adult and child over its network.  The information was provided to law enforcement in California where the young victim was located, and to the Seattle Internet Crimes against Children Task Force (ICAC) which traced the internet address to MAHONEY.  Law enforcement served a court authorized search warrant on MAHONEY’s residence and obtained his electronic devices for analysis.  Travel records confirm information from the victim that MAHONEY traveled to California three times in 2016 and 2017 to have sex with the victim.  The victim was approximately 13- years-old when MAHONEY ‘friended’ the victim on Facebook and was 14 years-old when MAHONEY initiated sex.   MAHONEY made videos of the sexual contact, thereby producing child pornography.

            Under the terms of the plea agreement, both the prosecution and defense will recommend a ten-year prison term.  The recommendation does not bind Judge Coughenour.  The maximum penalty is life in prison.  MAHONEY will be required to register as a sex offender.

            The case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in coordination with the Seattle Police Department and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC). The Contra Costa County California District Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of California, and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department are key partners in the investigation.

            The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Cecelia Gregson, with assistance from Assistant United States Attorney Christina McCall of the Northern District of California.  Ms. Gregson is a Senior King County Deputy Prosecutor specially designated to prosecute child exploitation crimes in federal court.

Topic(s): 
Cyber Crime
Project Safe Childhood
Contact: 
Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Public Affairs Officer Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.
Updated September 17, 2018