Tulsa Man Convicted on Coercion and Enticement and Child Pornography Charges
A federal jury convicted a 28-year-old Tulsa man Wednesday for enticing a girl between the ages of 15 and 17 years old and for possessing sexually explicit pictures and videos of the girl, announced U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.
Alexander Nicholaus Sweet was found guilty of coercion and enticement of a minor (count 1); production of child pornography (counts 2,5,6,7); receipt of child pornography (count 3); and possession of child pornography (count 4).
“Alexander Sweet targeted and groomed a vulnerable teenager struggling with the loss of two loved ones and a difficult childhood. This week, she showed tremendous courage when she faced him in a federal courtroom,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “This predator thought he was above the law but has now been convicted and sits behind bars where he can no longer victimize another child.”
“There is nothing more disgraceful than a person who intentionally exploits a child’s vulnerabilities to ingratiate themselves and manipulate their decisions,” said Edward Gray, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Oklahoma City Field Office. “The FBI is, and will continue to be, determined in its efforts to ensure people like Mr. Sweet do not move forward with impunity.”
In December 2020, the FBI received numerous reports that Sweet was in a sexual relationship with a vulnerable 16 year old girl and was in possession of explicit photographs and videos of the girl that would be considered child pornography. Agents further reviewed posts made by Sweet across several social media platforms where he specifically discussed his sexual interest in female minors. For example, in one post, a Reddit poster asked, “What was sexy 10 years ago but isn’t now?” Sweet replied “My 22-year-old niece.” Per his post, Sweet implied that he thought his niece was sexier when she was 12 as opposed to 22.
Sweet initially reached out to the victim online when she was 15 years old after he saw a post she had made on social media indicating that she recently lost a family member. The teenager had recently lost two people she cared about within a month and told authorities she had felt very alone at that time. Sweet, who was aware of the victim’s age, groomed the minor on and off social media for several months until September 2020 when he initiated a “relationship” with the minor. The minor’s guardian opposed Sweet’s interest in the child and eventually applied for a protective order against him. Sweet threatened the guardian when she tried to keep him away from the girl.
Over the course of the grooming, Sweet coerced the victim into sending a significant number of sexually explicit photographs and videos to him using multiple platforms, including Google Meet and Google Hangouts. The victim indicated that most of the images were sent using her school laptop. Law enforcement discovered a Google photos folder and a Google Hangouts conversation associated with Sweet’s account that corroborated what the victim had told authorities.
After he realized that law enforcement was pursuing a case against him, agents learned that Sweet took the minor to Payne County to apply for a marriage license. The victim testified that Sweet incorrectly believed that if the two were married, she could not testify against him. The victim’s guardian contacted the courthouse and advised them that she did not provide consent. Sweet then took the minor to Arkansas to marry her without the guardian’s consent.
At that time, agents also learned that Sweet planned to leave the country with the minor. Sweet was arrested as he was leaving Tulsa driving a car with “Just Married” written across the back window. The victim was also in the vehicle, and her hair had been bleached. Inside the vehicle, agents found “doll clothing,” multiple electronic devices, over $1,000 in cash, United States passport applications for both Sweet and the minor victim, and a Polish citizenship application for Sweet. During a search of relevant accounts, authorities discovered multiple videos of Sweet engaged in sexual acts with the victim.
In court, the victim testified that Sweet regularly provided her alcohol and drugs during the period in which he groomed her. She also testified that she was working to get the fraudulent marriage annulled. Sweet, who at times represented himself during the trial asked the victim if she would be willing to get back together with him to which the victim replied “Under no circumstance.”
During the course of the investigation, several other victims came forward. Although, they were not part of the indictment filed against Sweet, they hope to be heard at sentencing.
The FBI and Tulsa Police Department are the investigative agencies. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Edward Snow and Leah Paisner are prosecuting the case.