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Bluffs man convicted of coercion, enticement of foreign exchange students
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Bluffs man convicted of coercion, enticement of foreign exchange students

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A Council Bluffs man was found guilty of being involved in a string of sex-related offenses involving minors, according to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.

On Wednesday, Thomas Donald Boatright, 52, pleaded guilty in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa to four counts of coercion and enticement of a minor, information from acting United States Attorney Richard D. Westphal said in a press release.

Boatright, Westphal said, worked as a foreign exchange coordinator and host for a program where students from other countries enrolled in a year of high school in the United States.

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The students were assigned a host family to live with while attending high school. In February 2020, a student reported that a hidden camera was discovered in Boatright’s bathroom, where two minor exchange students were assigned to live as part of the program.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, an investigation revealed that Boatright used his cell phone and computer to engage in conversations with the students prior to and after arriving in the U.S. that were sexually explicit.

Boatright reportedly used his position as a foreign exchange coordinator and host parent to coerce and entice the students to engage in sexual activity, the attorney’s office said.

This case was investigated by the Council Bluffs Police Department, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Offices for the Southern District of Iowa.

Boatright is currently scheduled for a June 4 sentencing.

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