Man sends letter from jail claiming to be ‘serial pedophile’


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — An Indiana man penned a letter to a prosecutor claiming to be a “serial pedophile” responsible for a “string of unreported” federal sex offenses, according to court documents.

Donald Dustin Cornett, 43, also known as Dusty, now faces several charges in Allen Superior Court.

Cornett was originally arrested on a domestic charge, but an outstanding warrant for his arrest cited an alleged failure to register as a violent sex offender with a prior conviction. He is charged with Felony 1 child molesting (the highest state felony) and Felony 4 child molesting, child pornography possession, child exploitation and performing sex acts in the presence of a minor.

Cornett told investigators that his partner, Jennifer K. Knowles, 36, took part in the acts, which involved three alleged victims, court records show.

Knowles was charged with performing sex acts in the presence of a minor, neglect of a dependent and methamphetamine possession.

Cornett’s letter from jail, dated Oct. 25, 2021, was turned over to Sgt. Todd Battershell, a sex crime investigator with the Fort Wayne Police Department.

In the letter, Cornett claimed that Knowles gave the alleged victims drugs and “initiated and encouraged” the acts, court documents said. Cornett went on to tell police during a November interview that he’d molested at least eight children in three states. He told a case manager with the Department of Child Services that the matter was “extremely hard for him to talk about, but it was the right thing to do,” according to case documents.

In her own interview, Knowles said she watched Cornett record inappropriate videos of the children.

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