***WARNING: This story contains graphic content not suitable for all readers****
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A man who once described himself as a ‘serial pedophile’ was sentenced to 25 years in prison on a child molesting conviction Wednesday – time which will be tacked onto a 20-year prison sentence he was already serving in a completely separate molesting case.
Donald D. Cornett, aka Dusty Cornett, had previously pleaded guilty in Allen Superior Court to a Level 1 felony count of child molesting as part of a deal the 44-year-old made with Allen County prosecutors.
The plea agreement called for him to serve 25 years in prison consecutively to a 20-year prison sentence he began serving this past February.
Cornett was already a registered sex offender with a previous sexual misconduct conviction by 2021. In October of that year, police arrested Cornett on a count of failing to register as a sex offender.
While in Allen County Jail, he’s accused of writing a letter to Allen County prosecutors claiming to be a “serial pedophile” responsible for a “string of unreported molestings,” according to court documents.
In all, he claimed in the letter he molested at least five children in three different states, court documents said. That information was turned over to the FBI, according to court documents.
That letter, though, led to investigators questioning him.
In an interview with Fort Wayne police detectives 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 – was given a suspended sentence this past summer after being convicted of performing sex acts on a minor and neglect of a dependent.
Cornett pleaded guilty to one count of child molesting in that initial case and was given a 25-year sentence with five of those years suspended.
He was then taken to the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility.
After his sentencing, another victim came forward to investigators with molesting allegations against Cornett, which led to new charges being filed against him. Authorities brought Cornett back to Allen County for proceedings in the new case.
He eventually accepted the plea deal calling for him to serve another 25 years on top of the sentence he was already serving last month.