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March 5, 2018Oklahoma City, OK, United StatesHuman Smuggling/Trafficking

5 child sex traffickers convicted in Oklahoma City and now serving sentences in federal prison ordered to pay their victims more than $635,000 in restitution

OKLAHOMA CITY — Five defendants, who were previously convicted of child sex trafficking, on Monday were ordered to pay their victims more than $635,000 in restitution.

This restitution order was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester, Western District of Oklahoma.  This case resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

A federal grand jury indicted Maurice M. Johnson on child sex trafficking charges on Dec. 3, 2014.  He pleaded guilty to child sex trafficking on Jan. 30, 2015, before U.S. District Judge Robin J. Cauthron.  In August 2017, he was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison and five years of supervised release.

According to court records, in October 2014, Johnson sex trafficked two girls (aged 14 and 15) and an adult female.  As soon as the 14-year-old girl was recruited, Johnson instructed her to start calling phone numbers from the escort section of the Yellow Pages to find Tonya Gay Gum, whom he knew as “Carmen.”  At the time, Gum operated at least 20 phone numbers listed in the escort section of the Oklahoma City Yellow Pages.  The 14-year-old victim contacted Gum and sent her photographs of herself and the adult female.  After that, Gum began arranging commercial sex transactions between her established customer base (or new customers who called her phone lines) and the females under Johnson’s control.  Johnson drove the girls to hotels, residences, and commercial spaces, where the customers paid for sex in cash.  After each commercial sex transaction, Gum met the girls at different locations in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area to receive the proceeds, which Gum and Johnson split.  They did not give any money to the victims they trafficked.

Gum and three customers who purchased sex with the children were indicted by a federal grand jury on June 16, 2015.  On Nov. 19, 2015, Gum pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit child sex trafficking, also before Judge Cauthron.  In August 2017, she was sentenced to four years in federal prison and three years of supervised release.

The three customers — William M. Baker, Trung N. Duong, and Curtis A. Anthony — purchased sex with the children in October 2014.  Before their convictions, their cases went before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, which held in February 2017 that they could be convicted of child sex trafficking even if they did not know or recklessly disregarded a child victim’s age, so long as they had a “reasonable opportunity to view” the child victim.

On May 9, 2017, Duong pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit child sex trafficking.  On Nov. 2, 2017, Baker also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit child sex trafficking. In August 2017, Judge Cauthron sentenced each of them to two years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release.

Anthony went to trial and was convicted by a federal jury on June 19, 2017, of both conspiracy to commit child sex trafficking and child sex trafficking.  He was sentenced in October 2017 to 10 years in federal prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release.

All of these defendants must also register as sex offenders for 25 years after they complete their prison sentences.

At the time of the sentencings, the court deferred a determination of restitution.  On March 5, 2018, Judge Cauthron amended the judgments and ordered all five defendants to pay $635,247 in restitution to victims, with each defendant jointly and severally liable for the full amount immediately. 

“Although the innocence of these children cannot be restored, we are pleased that the Court is holding the defendants responsible for paying for the future care and treatment caused by their crimes,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Troester.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys McKenzie Anderson and David Petermann prosecuted this case.