Sacramento Police Officer Daniel Donahue was arrested yesterday for sexting a 15 year old girl he met through an app called Hoop linked to Snapchat. The girl's family reported Officer Donahue to the SPD earlier this months and he resigned soon afterwards. He is currently charged with "inappropriate communications with a minor" according to media reports. He was booked into the Sacramento County Jail and later released.
According to media reports, Donahue sent the girl hundreds of text messages. Some of those messages included nude photos of himself and requests that the girl reciprocate with nude photos of herself. Fortunately the girl did not send Officer Donahue any nudes. If she did then he would be charged with possession of child pornography, but his efforts make us wonder why the act of attempting to persuade a minor to produce child pornography is not an act worthy of an independent charge in this case. According to the United States Department of Justice, "Any individual who attempts or conspires to commit a child pornography offense is also subject to prosecution under federal law." See https://www.justice.gov/criminal-ceos/citizens-guide-us-federal-law-child-pornography and 18 U.S.C. 2252(b)(1) "Whoever violates, or attempts or conspires to violate, paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of subsection (a) shall be fined under this title and imprisoned not less than 5 years and not more than 20 years," with subsection (a) addressing certain activities relating to material involving the sexual exploitation of minors (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2252). We believe that by attempting to persuade a 15 year old girl to produce intimate images of herself and transmit those images to him that Officer Donahue violated 18 U.S.C. 2252(a)(2) by attempting to receive child pornography. We hope that the FBI and the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California will take action against Officer Donahue in the near future.
According to media reports, some of Officer Donahue's texts included language indicating that Donahue was well aware that his actions were wrong such as "I really wanna be with you," "let me have a chance with you," and "nobody has to know." Some of the selfies he transmitted gave special meaning to the SPD's statement that Donahue "tarnishes the Sacramento Police Department badge" as they featured Donahue exposing himself while at work wearing his badge.
According to jail records, Daniel Joseph Donahue was born on October 19, 1995 (25 years old). In 2016 he listed an address in Vacaville, California when registering to vote as a Republican. However, he has been linked to at least two other addresses in the years since and we are not sure which one is current.