Child abuse detective commits suicide after soliciting sex acts from minors
02/05/2016 / By Julie Wilson / Comments
Child abuse detective commits suicide after soliciting sex acts from minors

Manassas, Virginia Detective David Edward Abbott Jr. devoted his career to protecting children (or so it appeared), serving for more than a decade on a task force aimed at rescuing children being lured in by sexual predators on the internet. Think Chris Hansen on the hit reality television series “To Catch a Predator.”

Even Abbott’s personal life revolved around children. The 39-year-old detective spent years coaching teenage boys in a youth hockey league – which would later become the source of all his problems. Last month, it was reported that police learned Abbott had sent sexually inappropriate text messages to a 13-year-old boy in the hockey league, requesting sex acts via phone and social media. The inappropriate behavior went on for more than two years; the boy was 11 years old when it began.

On December 15, police attempted to execute a search warrant at Abbott’s townhouse where he lived with his mother around 2:30 a.m., which resulted in a four-hour standoff. Police had “obtained four felony arrest warrants – two counts of indecent liberties by a custodian and two counts of use of a communication device to solicit a sexual offense,” reports The Washington Post.

Inappropriate communication with 13-year-old boy

Things seemed to be improving when Abbott exited the home to speak with the police; however, in a shocking twist — the detective pulled out a handgun and committed suicide.

Abbott worked on the Northern Virginia-D.C. Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, a collaboration of 52 local, state and federal agencies created through a Department of Justice grant in 2004 to help combat “online child exploitation, pornography and predators.”


The now deceased detective was committing the very crime he was paid to prevent, and the allegations that led to his death were not the first. Abbott was “the lead investigator in a controversial teen ‘sexting’ case” in 2014, according to the Post.

It involved a 17-year-old boy facing “serious charges for sending photos of his erect penis to his 15-year-old girlfriend. During the case, it was reportedly suggested that Abbott obtained photos of the suspect’s erect penis to ‘compare’ them to photos sent to the girl,” reports the Inquisitor.

“The 17-year-old suspect’s lawyer, Jessica Harbeson Foster, was outraged and told the Washington Post the suggestion was ‘crazy.’ Despite reports that it was the idea of the prosecution for Abbott to obtain the photos, it was Abbott himself that moved to sue the teen suspect’s lawyer for libel after she made the critical statements of the plan to the Post.”

Detective used his position to try and obtain sexually explicit photos of a minor

In his lawsuit, Abbott argued her reaction “harmed his reputation;” however, he dropped the suit one month before the altercation with police which ultimately led to his death.

When questioned about the scandal, a neighbor of Abbott told the media he was “shocked” and “stunned” at the news. “I’ve only been here several months but he’s a wonderful guy, the family is pretty wholesome,” he said.

Abbott’s coworkers from the Manassas Police Department said they were “shocked at what happened.” The police department’s official statement read:

In spite of these recent developments regarding the serious allegations against him, we are grateful for the contributions detective Abbott made during his time with the Manassas city police to include the prosecution and conviction of hundreds of criminals.

Friends and family of Abbott declined to comment.

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