Council Bluffs man accused of recording boys in bathroom pleads guilty

a man wearing a suit and tie: Thomas Boatright (Courtesy Pottawattamie County Jail)

© Provided by Omaha WOWT
Thomas Boatright (Courtesy Pottawattamie County Jail)

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (WOWT) – A man accused of secretly recording juvenile boys in the bathroom of his home has made a deal with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, but he won’t be getting out of federal prison anytime soon.

The allegations against Thomas Boatright are disturbing on a number of fronts.

The teenage boys were in the country as part of a foreign-exchange program. The defendant was the coordinator of the program helping line up the students with host families in addition to hosting two boys himself.

Those families put their trust in the program by sending them to the U.S. only to have the experience shattered.

Former real-estate agent Thomas Boatright, 51, pleaded guilty Wednesday afternoon to four counts of coercion and enticement of a minor. When sentenced, he’ll spend 10 years in prison, at a minimum.

6 News learned in court Wednesday that some of the students who were here in Council Bluffs a year ago have been getting counseling.

The feds identified four victims, all from other countries as they were foreign exchange students. Two of them lived with Boatright.

One of the juvenile students told investigators that Boatright gave them alcohol to play beer pong and then gave them pills. Only later did they learn the pills are used to treat erectile dysfunction.

The foreign-exchange student then noticed a bathroom phone charger that had a hidden camera in it pointed towards the toilet.

Boatright hasn’t been out of jail since his arrest a year ago. He’ll be sentenced in June, and could face a life-sentence.

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