PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A Pemberton man was sentenced to life plus 10 years in federal prison on a variety of sex crimes against children.
Donald J. Jones III, 48, of Pemberton, was sentenced Monday in U.S. District, having been convicted at trial by a federal court jury in Providence, R.I., in May 2012, on charges of interstate travel to engage in illicit sexual acts with a minor, attempted aggravated sexual abuse, enticement of a minor and distribution of child pornography.
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 13.
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 8-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.
U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha commented, “As prosecutors, we have no higher calling than to aid parents in protecting their children. Accordingly, I am very pleased with the life sentenced handed down today, which ensures that a remorseless, recidivist pedophile has been brought to justice. Spending the rest of his life in prison ensures that he will never, ever harm another child.”
Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police said, “In addition to preventing this particular pedophile from further targeting any more children, a life sentence sends a clear message to others that may choose to follow in the same path he did.”
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 ICAC who responded, posing as the father of an 8-year-old Rhode Island girl.