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Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Oklahoma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 3, 2022

Tulsa Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Aggravated Sexual Abuse of a Child and Possession of Child Pornography

A Tulsa man who repeatedly sexually abused a child under the age of 12 was sentenced Thursday in federal court, announced U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.

Chief U.S. District Judge John F. Heil III sentenced Joshua David Slinkard, 41, to life in federal prison and a lifetime supervised release.

On Sept. 2, 2021, Slinkard pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a minor in Indian Country and one count of possession of child pornography. Slinkard later tried to withdraw his plea, but his request was denied.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office, FBI, and Tulsa Police Department are committed to seeking justice on behalf of children who have suffered at the hands of sexual predators like Joshua Slinkard. This life sentence serves as a reminder that such criminal behavior will not be tolerated,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.

“The FBI works tirelessly in collaboration with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to ensure child predators face justice for their unspeakable crimes,” said Edward J. Gray, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Oklahoma City Field Office. “This sentencing reaffirms our unwavering commitment to protecting our most vulnerable citizens from abuse and exploitation.”

In a sentencing memorandum, Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Childress called Slinkard a danger to all children. She stated that Slinkard’s criminal history exhibited “a predilection to sexually abuse children.” In addition to abusing the victim in this case, Slinkard also touched the victim’s eight-year-old friend inappropriately and was convicted in Mayes County for an offense that involved him touching a 5-year-old child. Childress further noted that Slinkard was found to be in possession of child pornography.

The abuse charged in this case occurred from Jan. 1, 2009, through Nov. 26, 2010. According to court documents, the victim was frequently left in Slinkard’s care. Slinkard sexually abused the victim and often called her derogatory names.

The defendant warned the victim not to tell anyone. When she did, he consistently attempted to discredit the child’s pleas for help. The child repeatedly reported the abuse to her mother and other family members, but she was not believed.

In 2011, the child finally disclosed the abuse to a school counselor after watching a school presentation about sexual abuse. The counselor contacted authorities, and Slinkard was arrested. Even after his arrest, Slinkard attempted to obstruct justice by writing a letter to the child’s mother pleading with her to convince the child to say she lied about the abuse.

During the investigation, law enforcement also found Slinkard to be in possession of video files containing the sexual abuse of children, including those of children who were younger than 12 years of age.

At the sentencing hearing, the victim, now an adult, emphasized that when a child discloses abuse, others need to listen to them and believe them. The victim further stated that although it has been difficult, she is striving to live a full life by working and taking college courses.

In 2011, Slinkard pleaded guilty to sexual abuse and child pornography charges in Tulsa County District Court, but the conviction was subsequently dismissed based on the Supreme Court’s decision in McGirt v Oklahoma. Because the crime occurred within the boundaries of the Muscogee Nation reservation and the defendant is an enrolled tribal citizen, the federal government prosecuted the case.

The FBI and Tulsa Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie A. Childress prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Indian Country Law and Justice
Contact: 
Public Affairs 918-382-2755
Updated March 3, 2022