Sex Crimes

Officer Busted

Cop exploiter


A D.C.-area police detective whose job was to investigate Internet sex crimes against children committed suicide in December moments before cops could arrest him—on charges of sexually exploiting kids.

That was just one of the lurid ironies of the law enforcement career of David Edward Abbott, who worked for the region's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Abbott had been the lead investigator in a 2014 sexting case in which a 17-year-old was accused of sending pictures of his naked body to his 15-year-old girlfriend. In order to prove the photos were authentic, authorities sought and obtained a warrant to drive the teen to a hospital, give him a drug that would induce an erection, and photograph his genitals.

The invasive procedure never took place—the teen's lawyer complained that the request was "just crazy." That remark earned her a lawsuit from Abbott, who claimed she had defamed him, causing him emotional distress by subjecting him to accusations of pedophilia.

Such accusations might have been accurate, according to the Prince William County police department. Authorities eventually learned that Abbott had engaged in inappropriate sexual conversations with two boys, ages 11 and 13, via "phone, text, social media, email, and face to face."