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Press Release

Defendant Sentenced To 30 Years For Sexual Exploitation Of A Child

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Oklahoma

MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that Steven James McNinch, age 35, of Okemah, Oklahoma, was sentenced to 360 months’ imprisonment and 10 years of supervised release for Sexual Exploitation of Children, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2251(a). The charges arose from an investigation by the Okmulgee County Sheriff’s Office, the Okmulgee County Department of Human Services, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Indictment alleged that on or about August 6, 2017, in the Eastern District of Oklahoma and elsewhere, the defendant employed, used, persuaded, induced, enticed, and coerced a person under the age of eighteen years, to engage in sexually explicit conduct, for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct, and such visual depiction was produced using materials that have been mailed, shipped, and transported in interstate and foreign commerce. McNinch plead guilty to the Indictment on November 29, 2018. 

The investigation that lead to the Indictment and sentence established that McNinch had coerced a child to engage in sexually explicit conduct and had used a cellular telephone to make a video of the child’s pubic area. It was further discovered that while the defendant was in custody he made telephone calls from jail during which he requested that a witness retrieve and destroy evidence that he believed would further incriminate him. McNinch has multiple prior felony convictions including Burglary, Escape From Confinement, and Assault & Battery with a Dangerous Weapon. 

United States Attorney Brian J. Kuester said, “The criminal justice process can at times be difficult for victims – especially child victims – despite our best efforts to ease the anxiety they experience. The ultimate outcome of this case is proof that despite the difficulties, justice can prevail. This sentence is just punishment for the defendant’s atrocious conduct against a child and will prevent him from harming others. It would not have been possible without the victim’s and family member’s courage, strength, and resilience.”

The Honorable Ronald A. White, District Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, in Muskogee, presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Sarah McAmis represented the United States. 

Updated July 3, 2019

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