An umpire with Fairfax County's Fort Hunt Little League program is facing a child pornography distribution charge after he responded to an undercover officer who offered his fictional 9-year old-daughter for sex, according to court documents.
Donald Aikin Essex, a 67-year-old grandfather, appeared in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., Monday.
Federal court documents reveal that a D.C. undercover officer, posing as the father of a 9-year-old girl, posted an online query May 14 asking, "Any other perv/taboo dad in the DC MD VA area? Pm me." The officer wrote that a man later identified as Essex responded and posted a photo of his penis. When the undercover officer asked for photos of children, Essex reportedly sent 10 images of child pornography.
Court documents say Essex told the undercover cop "he is the grandfather of three grandchildren" and he "claimed to be sexually active with all three children."
Essex then asked the man he believed to be a father when he would have access to his daughter, court documents say.
When the agent replied he'd be with his daughter the following day, the men made arrangements to meet in front of the undercover officer's purported apartment building near the Verizon Center. The undercover officer wrote that he would keep his daughter home from school for the rendezvous.
Later, Essex wrote back requesting that the girl be taken instead to the Huntington Metro station in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County. Essex lives in a high-rise apartment building near the station and proposed they go there for sexual activity.
The agent said Essex wrote, "Go to the LOWER kid and ride. Im (sic) driving a chevy cruze silver. Te xt (sic) me when you are getting close." But later that evening the undercover officer got a follow up message from Essex reading, "I need a rain check," explaining his brother was in the hospital.
Agents determined through the phone number provided by Essex, that he's an umpire for the Fort Hunt Little League and "has significant access to minor children."
“He was our chief umpire until, I think, three years ago, and sort of semi-retired," Fort Hunt Little League Baseball President Barry Meuse said. "He still umpires and he umpired one or two games with us this year.”
Police also found a Chevy Cruze parked at the high rise near the Huntington Metro station with vanity plates reading "YerOut."
Officers moved in and arrested Essex last weekend.
“This doesn’t represent us in any way," Meuse said. "This is a man who lived in the shadows of life, doing some horrific things.”
Meuse said they’ve relied on criminal background checks for all their volunteers. Essex had one done this year.
“His came back clean, March 9,” Meuse said.