Maryland Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges Involving Sexual Abuse of 14-Year-Old Girl
Defendant Had Tutored the Girl in an Afterschool Program
WASHINGTON - Anthony Brooks, 29, of Indian Head, Md., pled guilty today to federal charges of transporting a minor across state lines with intent to sexually abuse her. The minor was a 14-year-old girl whom Brooks tutored as part of an afterschool program the child was ordered to attend by a family court.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, Matthew J. DeSarno, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal Division, and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Brooks pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to two counts of transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. Trial had been scheduled to begin on June 7, 2018. The charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. The Honorable James E. Boasberg scheduled sentencing for Sept. 7, 2018.
The minor had been ordered by the Family Court of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to attend the Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ) program, an afterschool diversion program through which at-risk youth are provided tutoring and mentoring. Brooks, then 28, a college graduate, was employed as one of her tutors.
According to the government’s evidence, in late spring of 2017, the minor was transferred to a different BARJ location and, from that time forward, should have had no additional contact with Brooks. Brooks had previously been admonished by staff not to have contact with female students outside of the program. Brooks, however, continued to have contact with her. By July 2017, he was exchanging sexually explicit text messages with the girl, who had just completed the 8th grade. On July 11, 2017, Brooks contacted the girl’s father and asked the father’s permission to “tutor” the child. According to the evidence, Brooks then drove nearly an hour from his home in Maryland to Southeast Washington, where he picked up the girl, brought her to his home, and had sexual intercourse with her.
Between July 11 and July 12, Brooks discussed with the girl over text message coming to pick her up again. Brooks advised the girl in text messages written on July 11 that he did not want to come get her on back to back days because her father might become suspicious. Instead, on July 13, 2017, Brooks again drove nearly an hour from his home in Maryland to Southeast Washington to pick up the child. He arrived at 6:30 a.m., at a time when the child’s father, the girl’s sole guardian and the only adult in the house, was at work at his construction job. According to the government’s evidence, he transported the child back to his house in Maryland, where he again engaged in sexual acts with her.
Through September 2017, Brooks continued to communicate with the girl, exchanging sexually explicit text messages with her. On Sept. 19, 2017, the child’s father discovered the text messages between Brooks and his daughter while reviewing the messages on his daughter’s phone. He promptly contacted the MPD Youth and Family Services Division, which commenced an investigation. The FBI Washington Field Office’s Child Exploitation Task Force immediately joined the investigation. Brooks was arrested on Sept. 20, 2017 and has been in custody ever since. On Feb. 14, 2018, Brooks was indicted on two counts of transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Liu, Special Agent in Charge DeSarno, and Chief Newsham commended the work of the MPD Detectives and Special Agents of the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force. They also expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices and FBI Special Agents in the Eastern District of Texas, Western District of Pennsylvania, and the District of Maryland, as well as the U.S. Marshals Service.
Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Park, who investigated and indicted the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jodi Lazarus who is prosecuting the matter along with Jason Park.