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Retired FBI agent guilty of sex abuse

Was bureau's chief of internal affairs

WASHINGTON -- The former chief internal watchdog at the FBI has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl and has admitted he had a history of molesting other children before he joined the bureau for what became a two-decade career.

John H. Conditt Jr., 53, who retired in 2001, was sentenced last week in Tarrant County Court in Fort Worth to 12 years in prison after he admitted he molested the daughter of two FBI agents after he retired. He acknowledged molesting at least two other girls before he began his law enforcement career, his lawyer said.

Conditt sought treatment for sex offenders after his arrest last year, said his attorney, Toby Goldsmith.

"The problem these people have is they don't really feel like it is their fault," Goldsmith said. "The treatment doesn't work unless you admit you are the one who instigated it, and he did that."

Conditt headed the internal affairs unit, which investigates agent wrongdoing, for the Office of Professional Responsibility at FBI headquarters in Washington from 1999 until June 2001, the FBI said.

FBI officials said yesterday they had no information suggesting Conditt had any problems during his career and he was never the subject of an investigation. Assistant District Attorney Mitch Poe of Tarrant County, who prosecuted the case, said he wanted a longer prison sentence and was skeptical of Conditt's claim that his molestation of children subsided during his FBI career.

Goldsmith said his client had admitted molesting at least two other girls more than 30 years ago, before he joined the FBI, but that there was no evidence of any wrongdoing while he was in the bureau.

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