A man from the suburbs of Chicago has been sentenced to 15 years for sexually assaulting a child in the Philippines.
Donald Scott Coleman, aged 64 from Elgin, repeatedly abused the child when he travelled to the country in 2012. He had previously met the child’s mother online, according to court documents.
A federal grand jury in Chicago indicted Coleman on a charge of “traveling in foreign commerce and engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor”, and he pleaded guilty to the offence last year. Details of the victim’s identity – including their sex and age – were withheld by the court.
US District Judge Harry D Leinenweber imposed the sentence on Thursday (November 15) at the federal court in Chicago.
The sentence was announced by John R Lausch, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Jeffrey S Sallet, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Substantial assistance was provided by the Elgin Police Department and the Philippine National Police.
“Other US citizens considering travelling to foreign countries to engage in sexual activity with minors need to understand that if they engage in such conduct, it will not go unnoticed,” Assistant US Attorney Erika L Csicsila argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum.
“It will not be tolerated. Rather, it will be met with swift and significant punishment by our criminal justice system.”
The investigation revealed that Coleman knew and, at times, cared for the child during visits to the Philippines from 2009 to 2012 to see the child’s mother. In particular, Coleman repeatedly assaulted the victim during a multiple-month visit in the fall of 2012.
The victim suffered severe emotional and physical harm as a result of Coleman’s conduct.
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