Predator convicted of molesting autistic boy - A man already convicted of molesting a child was found guilty Wednesday in a second case involving a small boy.
A Broward Circuit Court jury took less than two hours to convict Daniel Patrick Donohue, 65, of indecent assault. The victim was a 6-year-old autistic boy at Virginia Shuman Young Elementary School in Fort Lauderdale, where Donohue volunteered almost eight years ago.
Donohue faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced Wednesday. He is already serving a 15-year sentence after a 2003 conviction for molesting a 5-year-old boy at the Ralph J. Baudhuin Oral School at Nova Southeastern University in Davie.
On Wednesday the victims mother, of Pompano Beach, was overjoyed at the verdict. "I can't even stand looking at him. I ask you, is there any doctor, any therapy, any pill that can help this individuals? No. He belongs behind bars."
Donohue managed to gain access to the children by volunteering at the schools despite previous convictions for molesting two boys in California in the early 1980. He served more then five years in prison for those crimes.
The jury in this latest case wasn't told of Donohue's 2003 conviction.Testifying in his own defense Tuesday, however, Donohue said he volunteered at the schools to atone for previous predatory conduct. He said he didn't tell school officials about his criminal past because he was no longer a threat to children.
After the molestation allegations arose in 1997, Donohue fled the country and was on the lam until his arrest in January 2000 in the Philippines. When the FBI found him, Donohue overdosed on drugs in a failed suicide attempt and suffered a partial stroke.In this Broward case, the 6-year-old is new 14. He testified this week that Donohue touched his "privacy," making him angry.
A special education aide who was in the room when the incident occurred said she saw Donohue's hand resting on the boy's thigh after the student shouted,"Don't touch my peepee." In his closing argument Wednesday, Donohue's attorney Daniel Aaronson said there was no evidence Donohue touched the boy inappropriately.
"Just because he said 'Don't touch my pee-pee' doesn't mean it was touched," Aaronson said. "It was not a statement he was touched." But prosecutor Stacey Honowitz said it was common sense that Donohue has just touched the boy's genitals and then moved his hand after the child yelled out.
"It was a grab and move," she told jurors. "He is a leopard that doesn't change his spots." Donohue faces two more molestation trails, scheduled for March and April, pending from similar allegations.back