INDIANAPOLIS – Anthony Laquinn Thomas, 53, of Greensburg, Indiana, was sentenced late yesterday to 30 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to sexual exploitation of a child.
According to court documents, on April 24, 2019, police went to the residence of Minor Victim 1 to check her welfare because Minor Victim 1’s mother was concerned when she learned Minor Victim 1 was not in school. Minor Victim 1 was under thirteen years old at the time. Law enforcement officers located Minor Victim 1. Minor Victim 1 spoke to police and was later interviewed at a at a Children’s Advocacy Center. Minor Victim 1 disclosed that Thomas sexually abused her and used his cell phone to take naked pictures of her and show her pornographic images.
A probation search of Thomas’s residence was conducted, and Thomas was placed under arrest after police found evidence of methamphetamine use in the home. Thomas’s two cell phones were seized by police and searched after police obtained a search warrant. Police were able to lawfully access the information stored on Thomas’s cell phones and found numerous images of Minor Victim 1 engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Thomas’s Google account was also searched by police, and it revealed nine images of Minor Victim 1 engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Thomas was on probation at the time of these offenses and had failed a recent drug screen. Thomas has a lengthy criminal history with convictions including drug dealing, drug possession, and battery of a child.
Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana; Jeffrey Adams, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service; Superintendent Douglas G. Carter of the Indiana State Police; and Mike McNealy, Chief of the Greensburg Police Department; made the announcement.
The U.S. Secret Service, Indiana State Police and Greensburg Police Department investigated the case. The Decatur County Probation Office and Decatur County Prosecutor’s Office provided valuable assistance. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson. As part of the sentence, Judge Stinson ordered that Thomas be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for 10 years following his release from federal prison and ordered Thomas to pay $10,000 in restitution to Minor Victim 1. Thomas must also register as sex offender wherever he lives, works, or goes to school, as required by law.
U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristina M. Korobov who prosecuted this case.
In fiscal year 2019, the most recent year for which data is available, the Southern District of Indiana was second out of the 94 federal districts in the country for the number of child sexual exploitation cases prosecuted. This case was 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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc