7 suspected child predators removed from the streets of Kentucky

Gabbi Doolin, 7, was raped and murdered in 2015. [Image credit: WBKO]

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United States Attorney Russell Coleman and Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron disclosed yesterday that an operation named after 7-year-old Gabbie Doolin has resulted in the arrests of 7 suspected child sex predators to date.

 

Operation Gabbie Doolin was a joint federal, state, and local operation focused on removing suspected child sex predators from Kentucky communities.

 

"You're going to hear a lot more about these type of efforts," Coleman said. "And in her name, we're going to help and save a lot of kids."

 

In 2015 Gabbie was attending her brother's football game in Scottsville, Kentucky when a man she knew led her away from the stadium.  After being missing for approximately 30 minutes, her body was found in a creek about 400 feet from the stadium.

 

Last year Timothy Madden pleaded guilty to charges of murder and kidnapping, and entered an Alford plea to rape and sodomy charges meaning that he didn't admit guilt, but acknowledged that there was enough evidence to be convicted of the charges.  He was sentenced in October to life in prison without parole.

 

“The local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies that carried out this joint operation are committed to stopping child predators so that no family has to endure the incredible loss the Doolin family has felt these last five years,” said Cameron. “We share a goal to find child predators and remove them from communities before they act. Every arrest that we make stops a potential criminal act against a child, and we will continue to do everything in our power to leverage our resources and work together to protect Kentucky’s children."

 

U.S. Attorney Jo Lawless who is handing the prosecution of those arrested stated that six of the seven arrested actually showed up to meet what they believed was a 14 or 15-year-old girl "in order to engage in sex."

 

Each took an opportunity to reiterate the need for parents to be involved in the online activity of their children, especially during these unprecedented times.

 

"This is one of the most damaging, one of the most threatening and dangerous items in your home," Coleman said, holding up a cell phone.

 

Lawless urged special vigilance saying, "when our children, particularly teenagers, are online, whether they're using a smartphone, or a tablet, a computer, when they talk to someone, they think of them as a friend, they think of them as someone they know."

 

Those that are being prosecuted as a result of Operation Gabbie Doolin are as follows:

  • Charles Ashley, 66, of Adolphus, Kentucky has been charged with the attempted enticement of a minor, attempted transfer of obscene matter to a minor, and attempted production of child pornography. He faces not less than 10 years for the enticement charge, not less than 15 years for the attempted production charge and not more than 10 years for attempted transfer of obscene matter to a minor. The maximum potential sentence is life in prison.
  • Jimmy Kwizera, 22, of Louisville, Kentucky, has pleaded guilty to transfer of obscene material to a minor. He faces not more than 10 years in federal prison at sentencing which has been scheduled for Dec. 10.
  • Melvin Dowell, 54, of Rineyville, Kentucky, pleaded guilty to attempted enticement and transfer of obscene material to a minor. He faces a mandatory minimum 10 year prison sentence. The maximum potential sentence is life in prison.
  • Joseph Zakhari, 33, of Louisville, Kentucky, has been charged in a Superseding Indictment with attempted online enticement of a minor, attempted transfer of obscene matter to a minor, and attempted production of child pornography. He faces not less than 10 years for the enticement charge, not less than 15 years for the attempted production charge and not more than 10 years for attempted transfer of obscene matter to a minor. The maximum potential sentence is life in prison.
  • Jeffrie Corn, 25, of Louisville, Kentucky, has been charged with attempted enticement of a minor and attempted transfer of obscene matter to a minor. He faces not less than 10 years for the enticement charge and not more than 10 years for attempted transfer of obscene matter to a minor. The maximum potential sentence is life in prison.
  • Travis Puckett, 23, of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, has been charged with attempted enticement of a minor, attempted transfer of obscene matter to a minor. He faces not less than 10 years for the enticement charge and not more than 10 years for attempted transfer of obscene matter to a minor. The maximum potential sentence is life in prison. Puckett is scheduled to plead guilty on Nov. 23.
  • Eric Vanhandle, 54, Louisville, Kentucky, has been charged with attempted enticement of a minor. He faces not less than 10 years in prison for the charge. The maximum potential sentence is life in prison.

 

"Kentucky law enforcement has no more important mission than to protect our kids," Coleman said. "And we can conceive of no more meaningful way to honor Gabbie Doolin and her family than to work together, federal, state, and local, in an operation in her name to remove predators from our Commonwealth. More to come."

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