A Wisconsin man was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for sex trafficking multiple minors in the Philippines.
According to court documents, Donald A. Stenson, 67, of West Allis, traveled to the Philippines on multiple occasions starting in 2007 and repeatedly engaged in sexual activity with minors there. Between 2016 and 2019, Stenson lured five minor victims between the ages of approximately 11 and 17 into commercial sex arrangements, engaging in sexual activity with the victims and then providing them with money and gifts.
A search of Stenson’s electronic devices uncovered multiple images and videos of the minor victims, including a video depicting Stenson engaging in sex acts with a minor. The search also uncovered sexually explicit messages with minors and messages in which Stenson discussed engaging in sex acts with the minor victims with John Burgdorff, 66, of West Allis. Burgdorff traveled with Stenson to the Philippines, and Stenson encouraged the victims to meet with Burgdorff, who then also engaged them in commercial sexual activity.
Stenson was identified based on a CyberTipline Report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Stenson and Burgdorff were both arrested at Burgdorff’s residence in West Allis and charged as co-defendants in connection with their sex trafficking of these minor victims. Burgdorff was sentenced in November 2022 to two and a half years in prison for engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor in a foreign place.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Gregory J. Haanstad for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, and Special Agent in Charge Sean Fitzgerald of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Chicago made the announcement.
HSI Milwaukee, HSI’s Manila Transnational Criminal Investigation Unit, HSI Bangkok, and Philippine authorities investigated the case.
Trial Attorney William G. Clayman of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Megan J. Paulson and Abbey M. Marzick for the Eastern District of Wisconsin prosecuted the case, with assistance from CEOS Trial Attorney Kaylynn Foulon.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.