Ofc. Teresa Fuller
Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 11:10 a.m.
After a two month long investigation, the Spokane Police Special Victim’s Unit arrested Donald T. Mead (41) for several felonies yesterday and booked him into Spokane County Jail. The investigation started after one of the pre-teen victim’s parents discovered inappropriate conversations between their child and Mead on a tablet the child used. Mead was booked for Attempted 3rd Rape of a Child, Possession of Depictions of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct, and Communicating with a Minor for Immoral Purposes.
This investigation started in mid-January when a Spokane Police patrol officer responded to the victim’s residence after one of her parents had discovered inappropriate images had been exchanged between her and an adult male on a tablet the child used. Several different applications (apps) had been used to carry on these conversations, including KIK, Hangouts, and MEET ME. The tablet was taken as evidence and was later forensically examined by an SVU detective who discovered a number of images of Mead and of the victim.
In March, the SVU detective contacted Mead acting as the victim. Mead started sending sexually explicit images of himself in less than 2 hours. The detective, still posing as the victim, advised Mead she was only 14. Mead continued the conversation and eventually made arrangements to meet for sex. Detectives took Mead into custody just after 11:15am yesterday when he arrived at the location he thought he was meeting the victim at.
This is a stark reminder for parents to check up what their children are doing on electronic devices. Many social media apps have specific rules on the age of children allowed to use the application; for example, Facebook requires that users be 13 years of age. For more internet safety tips for parents and children, visit http://www.nationalcac.org/prevention/internet-safety-kids.html.