Oklahoma City Man Charged with Attempted Enticement and Coercion of a Minor to Engage in Sexual Activity
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – CURTIS A. ANTHONY, 51, of Ardmore, Oklahoma, was sentenced today to 120 months in federal prison for child sex trafficking, announced Mark A. Yancey, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.
On June 16, 2015, a federal grand jury indicted Anthony and four other defendants for conspiring to engage in child sex trafficking. One of these defendants, Tonya Gay Gum, operated at least twenty phone numbers listed in the escort section of the Oklahoma City Yellow Pages. On October 24, 2014, at a commercial property he owned in Edmond, Oklahoma, Anthony met with 14- and 15-year-old girls who were being trafficked by Gum, along with pimps Maurice Johnson and Hiram Mitchell. After paying both girls to take off their clothes, Anthony paid to have sex with one of the girls.
On June 19, 2017, at the conclusion of a four-day trial, a jury convicted Anthony of conspiracy and child sex trafficking for his role as a customer of underage escorts. The judge instructed the jury that it could convict if Anthony had a reasonable opportunity to observe a minor victim, even if he did not know or recklessly disregard that victim’s age. The jury heard evidence that Anthony saw the girls in their underwear, touched both of them, and drove one of them to an ATM to get cash for the commercial sex transaction.
Today U.S. District Judge Robin J. Cauthron sentenced Anthony to 120 months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release. The United States anticipates he will also be required to pay restitution to victims; the court will conduct a hearing to determine the amount of restitution within 90 days.
The cases against three of Anthony’s four co-defendants have already been resolved. On November 19, 2015, Gum pled guilty to conspiracy to commit child sex trafficking. She was sentenced to four years in prison and three years of supervised release. Trung N. Duong, another customer of Gum, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit child sex trafficking on May 9, 2017, and was sentenced to two years in prison on August 29, 2017. Russell D. Ehrens, another customer, was acquitted on December 9, 2015, under jury instructions that required knowledge or reckless disregard of the victim’s age. In a government appeal in the cases against Duong, Anthony, and William M. Baker, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals held on February 14, 2017, that “reasonable opportunity to observe” the victim is sufficient to support a conviction under the federal statute prohibiting child sex trafficking. Baker’s case remains pending.
Johnson and Mitchell were also prosecuted. Johnson is currently serving 240 months in federal custody, and Mitchell is serving 120 months.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by United States Department of Homeland Security and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. Assistant U.S. Attorneys McKenzie Anderson and David Petermann prosecuted the case.