WAUKESHA, Wis. (STMW) – A retired Oswego teacher has been charged with child sex crimes after being caught in Wisconsin attempting to meet with a 14-year-old girl whose father he met online, according to police. The meeting, however, turned out to be a police sting operation.
On Thursday, Donald Paul McDowell, 65, of the 500 block of Danbury Drive in Oswego, was charged with using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime and possession of child pornography, both felonies, Waukesha, Wis., police said.
McDowell told police he was a retired math teacher at Thompson Junior High School in west suburban Oswego.
According to the Waukesha Police Department complaint, a police detective was posing as the father of a 14-year-old girl in an Internet chat room on June 1 when he made contact with McDowell. McDowell asked for pictures of the daughter, which the detective sent him. McDowell then sent pictures back of himself, police said.
In the chat, McDowell admitted to the detective that he liked younger women, but that “teens interest him,” the complaint said.
The two continued to talk, and later agreed to meet at a Waukesha hotel where they would film the teenager having sex with McDowell. At one point during their chat, McDowell asked the father if he was a cop, but the detective said he wasn’t. McDowell also referenced a cable television show that targets sexual predators, the criminal complaint said.
Despite any reservations he seemed to have, McDowell made the trip to Wisconsin and showed up at the hotel on Tuesday as they had planned, police said. He checked in, but then exited the hotel where he was taken into custody by police.
Police said they found condoms, Viagra pills, sexual items and a laptop computer that contained thousands of images of child pornography in his car.
McDowell told police that he had second thoughts on the trip up to Wisconsin and planned to tell the man that he did not want to meet his daughter and have sex with her.
McDowell is being held in the Waukesha County Jail on $100,000 bail. If convicted, he faces up to 65 years in prison and $200,000 in fines.
As news of McDowell’s arrest spread throughout Oswego, the former teacher’s neighbors grew concerned. Although few seemed to know him personally, they described him Friday as a quiet man and coach.
They said McDowell was a widower, whose wife had passed away years ago.
“We didn’t see him out too much,” one woman said as she played with her children in the back yard. “But we are just as shocked as everyone else.”
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