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Press Release

Clearwater Man Pleads Guilty To Sex Trafficking Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, FL – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Gerald Eugene Mayham (41, Clearwater) pleaded guilty today to sex trafficking a child. He faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 7, 2015. Mayham was indicted on May 29, 2014.

In June and July 2013, Mayham conspired with Joel Raymond Nauta to cause a 16-year-old girl to engage in commercial sex acts. Mayham, who knew that the victim was a minor, arranged the sex acts by soliciting men at various locations in Clearwater and Dunedin. To get the victim to comply with the scheme, Mayham threatened her and provided her with drugs. Mayham received the money from the sex acts, which he used to purchase drugs.

On April 29, 2014, Nauta pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy. He will be sentenced on December 17, 2014.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Clearwater Police Department, the St. Petersburg Police Department, and the Largo Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Joseph W. Swanson and Simon A. Gaugush.

It is another case 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 the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated October 22, 2020

Human Trafficking