PHOENIX, AZ (April 19, 2013) – The Honorable William Brotherton imposed a 51.5-year prison sentence today on a serial child sexual predator who also attempted to orchestrate the murder of the law enforcement officers responsible for bringing him to justice. Dejuan Donte Donaldson (D.O.B. 5/29/1992) pled guilty to a series of sex crimes in addition to Conspiracy to Commit Kidnapping and Solicitation to Commit Murder. His sentence will be followed by a lifetime term of supervised probation. Under Arizona’s mandatory sentencing laws for offenses classified as Dangerous Crimes Against Children, Donaldson will not be eligible for early release.
“After committing a series of violent sexual offenses against innocent children, this defendant sought to compound his crimes by targeting the very law enforcement officers attempting to hold him accountable,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “His despicable actions deserve an appropriately lengthy prison sentence in order to protect our community from the menace he represents.”
Between November 2010 and April 2011, Dejuan Donaldson assaulted three separate females ranging in age from 12 to 17 years old and forced them to engage in sexual acts in nearby vacant homes. He attacked each of the victims as they were walking to or from school, robbing or attempting to rob two of them. He also set a fire in the bedroom of the house where he assaulted one of the victims. After the first two incidents, police found Donaldson walking in the area near one of the crime scenes and questioned him based on his similarity to descriptions provided by the victims. As part of their investigation during this time frame, officers had been contacting and photographing other males who matched the descriptions. Following the assault on the third victim, investigators learned that Donaldson lived directly across the street from the vacant house where the third incident took place. On May 4, 2011, police obtained a court order to collect Donaldson’s fingerprints and a DNA sample. He was arrested the following week after DNA analysis linked him to biological evidence collected from each of the three victims. On May 19, a Maricopa County Grand Jury charged Donaldson with multiple counts of Sexual Assault, Sexual Conduct with a Minor, Kidnapping, Armed Robbery and Arson.
In November 2011, while Donaldson was in custody awaiting trial, investigators intercepted a letter he wrote to his father in Pennsylvania detailing a plan to kidnap, torture and ultimately kill a Phoenix Police officer for the purposes of forcing the officer to make a confession that would “prove” Donaldson’s innocence and create the basis for a civil lawsuit. A nearly identical letter was also sent to his girlfriend who also resided in Pennsylvania.
Donaldson also gave three letters to a jail inmate the day before the inmate was scheduled to be released and requested that the inmate deliver the letters to Donaldson’s mother, Charise Michelle Donaldson Hatchett. The letters, which the inmate turned over to authorities, outlined a plot to kidnap a County prosecutor and a member of the prosecutor’s family as well as two Phoenix Police detectives and an apparently randomly selected defense attorney. Investigators then staged a confrontation call between the inmate who was given the letters and Hatchett in which she told the inmate not to discuss the plot over the phone because she believed the conversation may be recorded. A subsequent phone call between Donaldson and Hatchett also indicated efforts to secretly exchange information about the plot.
Hatchett was later arrested and charged with Conspiracy and Solicitation to Commit Misconduct Involving Weapons. She pled guilty to Hindering Prosecution in the First Degree and was sentenced to 45 days in jail and two years of supervised probation.
Donaldson’s sentence is comprised of two consecutive 20-year prison terms for two counts of Sexual Conduct of a Minor; an additional consecutive 11.5-year prison term for one count of Sexual Assault; and lifetime probation for two counts of Attempted Sexual Conduct with a Minor and one count of Attempted Sexual Assault. His sentence also includes 10.5- and 8.75-year terms for the subsequent murder and kidnapping plot, which will run concurrently to the sex crimes sentences.