An HIV positive Florida man has been sentenced to 60 years in federal prison, after admitting to assaulting an 11-year-old child, and uploading the sick images of the abuse to the internet.
Columbus Donovan Jeffrey, 44, of Jacksonville, Florida, was arrested in 2019, after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) were alerted to his online exploits, court documents detail. On May 3rd 2019, a user known as “hideme1977,” later identified as Jeffrey, used Tumblr to upload various photos to the internet taken by him, showing the sexual abuse of an 11-year-old child, of which he was the perpetrator. Florida detectives later discovered that the child had been abused by Jeffrey, who is HIV Positive, on at least three separate occasions in 2019.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office conducted a forensic examination of Jeffrey’s phone, which not only revealed further images of his sexual abuse of the child in question, but that he also maintained an extensive collection of child pornography, including 635 images and 57 videos depicting the sexual abuse of other minors, with several of them depicting the rape of infants and toddlers.
Reports at the time of his arrest revealed that Jeffrey’s home was apparently a “neighbourhood hangout” for kids. Phontella Reeves, whose son would “routinely play” at his home, said that Jeffrey had asked her out of the blue if her son could spend the night, to which she emphatically refused. “I felt some type of way, I swear I felt some type of way,” Reeves said. “Now, I know that [expletive] was true in my heart. My heart was telling me something wasn’t right.”
Jeffrey was initially charged by Florida prosecutors on a number of counts, including sexual intercourse without disclosure of being HIV positive, possession of child pornography, sexual performance by a child, sexual battery of a victim over 12 but under 18, among other charges. Having pled guilty to all counts in December last year, Jeffrey was sentenced to 60 years in federal prison this week. He has also been ordered to serve a lifetime term of supervised release and pay $24,000 to child victims of sexual abuse. He will be placed on the sex offenders registry.
Rachel L Rojas, the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division, said that the acts committed by Jeffrey “are among the most egregious that we have investigated”:
Predators who exploit innocent children are among the most evil criminals in society… This case proves that the FBI Jacksonville Division is fully committed to holding child predators accountable for their actions, and we remain dedicated to ensuring that criminals like him cannot bring harm to the most vulnerable members of our communities ever again. We are thankful for the partnership of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office in the relentless effort to seek justice for these victims. Be assured our work will not end here.
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