According to court documents, Thomas Monti, 73, of Murfreesboro, used the moniker “Master Thorn” to reach out online to an undercover FBI agent posing as an adult with access to two minor children. Monti detailed his interest in engaging in sexual acts with the children, to include graphic and violent sadomasochistic conduct. The explicit chats continued for approximately two months until October 2019, when Monti made the 10-hour trip from Tennessee to Virginia to meet the purported woman and the children in Henrico County. His intent was to live with the woman and the children for a time in order to engage in various forms of sexual abuse.
Upon arriving at a restaurant in Henrico County on the afternoon of October 3, agents with the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force arrested Monti. In his car were handcuffs, plastic ties, chains, metal skewers, ball gags, various sex toys, and candy.
Monti previously worked as a teacher since 1972 and served as an assistant principal from 1996 to 2007 in the Nashville, Tennessee area.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and David W. Archey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuel E. Fishel prosecuted the case.