***WARNING: This story contains graphic content not suitable for all readers***
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A Fort Wayne man who once called himself a ‘serial pedophile’ and claimed to have molested multiple children in at least three states received a 20-year prison sentence Tuesday.
An Allen Superior Court judge sentenced 44-year-old Donald D. Cornett, aka Dusty Cornett, to 25 years in prison but suspended five of those years as part of a plea agreement Cornett made with prosecutors last month, according to court records.
In the plea agreement, Cornett admitted to a Level 1 felony count of child molesting.
In exchange, prosecutors dropped lesser felony level charges of child molesting, child exploitation, possession of child pornography and performing sex acts in front of a minor they had levied against him.
Cornett, a registered sex offender with a previous sexual misconduct conviction, was arrested for failing to register as an offender in October 2021. While in Allen County Jail, he wrote a letter to Allen County prosecutors claiming to be a serial pedophile responsible for a “string of unreported molestings.”
In all, he claimed in the letter he molested at least five children in three different states, court documents said. That information has been turned over to the FBI, according to court documents.
In an interview with Fort Wayne Police investigators detailed in court documents, Cornett said he met a woman identified as 37-year-old Jennifer K. Knowles through the use of methamphetamines.
Eventually, the couple’s drug use led to them involving children in sex acts here in Allen County, according to court documents.
Cornett told investigators Knowles would give at least one of the children involved drugs – mainly methamphetamine – and watch him perform sex acts with the child.
Knowles – who is accused by Cornett of hoping the methamphetamine would cause the child to be diagnosed with autism so the couple could get money from the state – is also facing felony charges connected to the case.
Cornett claimed in an interview with investigators Knowles would watch him molest at least one other child who they bribed into sex, court documents said. All the sex acts happened while both he and Knowles were high on meth, Cornett said in court documents.
During an investigation into Cornett and Knowles, detectives found multiple sex videos involving children on multiple electronic devices.
Knowles has been charged with Level 6 felony counts of performing sex acts in front of a minor, neglect of a dependent and possession of methamphetamine. She is scheduled to stand trial in June.
She was released on $7,500 bond shortly after her arrest last year.