BUFFALO, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Kevin L. Donaldson, 47, of Salamanca, New York, was convicted after a two-week jury trial of transporting minors across state lines for the purpose of sexually abusing them and witness tampering. The defendant faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison with a maximum of life, a $250,000 fine, or both, when sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Acara, who presided over the trial.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Aaron J. Mango and Michael DiGiacomo handled the prosecution of the case. As shown by the evidence at trial, on multiple occasions between April 2004 and July 2007, the defendant, an over-the-road truck driver, transported three of his minor relatives across state lines and repeatedly raped them. One of the victims was 13 years old when Donaldson began raping the victim, with this conduct continuing over the next three years. Testimony at trial indicated the defendant ignored repeated pleas from his victims to stop.
While incarcerated at the Niagara County Jail awaiting trial on the federal charges, Donaldson wrote multiple letters to one of the victims as well as the mother of the victim in an attempt to influence the testimony of the victim. Among other things, the defendant told the victim to testify that “nothing happened.”
Prior to today’s conviction, Donaldson was convicted of state rape charges in Cattaraugus County and sentenced to four years in prison.
“Today’s conviction brings to a close a tragic chapter in the lives of three young victims,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “What makes this case particularly troubling is that the defendant, already a convicted rapist, preyed upon members of his own family. Thanks to today’s verdicts, the defendant will never again have the opportunity to repeat this truly perverse conduct.”
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The indictment was the culmination of an investigation on the part of special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christopher M. Piehota, and the Salamanca Police Department, under the direction of Chief Gary Wind.
Sentencing is scheduled for November 16, 2012, at 1:00 p.m. before Judge Arcara.