Bothell man pleads guilty to sex crimes involving 14-year-old

Defendant met and groomed victim online, traveled to California for sex and produced child porn.

  • Thursday, September 20, 2018 8:30am
  • News

A 24-year-old Bothell man pleaded guilty Sept. 17 in U.S. District Court in Seattle to two federal charges related to his sexual molestation of a 14-year-old child, announced U.S. attorney Annette L. Hayes.

Thomas Mahoney faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison when sentenced by U.S. District judge John C. Coughenour on Dec. 18, according to a Department of Justice press release. Mahoney was arrested in October 2017. He pleaded guilty on Monday to travel with intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor and enticement of a minor.

According to records filed in the case, Facebook notified the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about sexual conversations and photos being exchanged between an adult and child over its network. The information was provided to law enforcement in California where the young victim was located, and to the Seattle Internet Crimes against Children task force (ICAC), which traced the Internet address to Mahoney.

Law enforcement served a court-authorized search warrant on Mahoney’s residence and obtained his electronic devices for analysis, the release states. Travel records confirm information from the victim that Mahoney traveled to California three times in 2016 and 2017 to have sex with the victim.

The victim was about 13 years old when Mahoney “friended” them on Facebook and was 14 years old when Mahoney initiated sex. Mahoney made videos of the sexual contact, thereby producing child pornography, the release states.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, both the prosecution and defense will recommend a 10-year prison term. The recommendation does not bind Coughenour. The maximum penalty is life in prison. Mahoney will be required to register as a sex offender.

The case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations in coordination with the Seattle Police Department and ICAC. The Contra Costa County California District Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of California and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department are key partners in the investigation, the release states.

The case is being prosecuted by special assistant U.S. attorney Cecelia Gregson, with assistance from assistant U.S. attorney Christina McCall of the Northern District of California. Gregson is a senior King County Deputy prosecutor specially designated to prosecute child exploitation crimes in federal court.

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Courtesy photo
State demanded more drop boxes, and now it must pay for them

A King County judge says a law requiring more ballot boxes was an illegal unfunded mandate.

King County 2020 unemployment numbers. Source: Washington State Employment Security Department
Boeing, coronavirus likely to impact King County economy

Unemployment remained high in September.

File photo
State Supreme Court strikes down $30 car-tab initiative

Justices unanimously agreed that voter-approved Initiative 976 is unconstitutional.

A suspect in a carjacking hangs almost 60 feet up in a tree after climbing it to avoid police on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020 near Mill Creek, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
After gunfire, Bothell carjacking suspect climbs a tree

He allegedly passed a trooper at 114 mph on a motorcycle, crashed, stole a car, fled gunshots and climbed 60 feet.

Gov. Jay Inslee during his Oct. 6 news conference. (Screenshot)
Gov. Inslee loosens rules for bars, libraries and movie theaters

New rules come as coronavirus cases are on the rise statewide.

Jay Inslee (left) and Loren Culp
Inslee, Culp will meet in only televised debate Wednesday

The two candidates will answer questions for an hour but they will not be on stage together.

Cecil Lacy Jr. (Family photo)
Court: New trial in case of man who told police ‘Can’t breathe’

Cecil Lacy Jr. of Tulalip died in 2015 while in police custody.

A Sept. 10 satellite image shows smoke from U.S. wildfires blanketing the majority of the West Coast. (European Space Agency)
University of Washington professors talk climate change, U.S.-China relations

Downside for climate policy supporters is it can risk alienating moderate or right-leaning voters.

Sightseers at a Snoqualmie Falls viewpoint adjacent to the Salish Lodge & Spa on Feb. 19, 2020. Natalie DeFord/staff photo
25 COVID cases linked to Salish Lodge

Public Health is urging anyone who visited the lodge to monitor for symptoms or get tested.

The nose of the 500th 787 Dreamliner at the assembly plant in Everett on Sept. 21, 2016. (Kevin Clark / Herald, file)
Report: Boeing will end 787 Dreamliner production in Everett

Boeing declined comment on a Wall Street Journal story saying the passenger jet’s assembly will move to South Carolina.

Car hits hydrant and power pole in Bothell

Luckily there were no injuries

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Surge in consumer spending eases state budget challenges

A jump in tax collections cuts a projected $9 billion shortfall in half, acccording to new forecast.