Tallahassee Woman Sentenced for Sex Trafficking of a Minor
TALLAHASSEE, FL—Christine Thurman, 29, of Tallahassee, was sentenced to 126 months in prison yesterday, to be followed by 20 years of supervised release, for sex trafficking of a minor and conspiracy to transport a minor for prostitution. The sentence was announced by Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
During her guilty plea on January 15, 2015, Thurman admitted that, between November 2013 and May 2014, she knowingly conspired with others to transport an individual less than 18 years of age for prostitution. This sex trafficking organization posted online advertisements offering underage girls as escorts. Upon discovering the advertisements in January 2014, an undercover investigator attempted to arrange a meeting at a local motel with a girl featured in one of the online ads. While surveilling the motel, investigators observed Thurman leave a motel room adjacent to the room where the undercover investigator had arranged to meet the minor. Investigators then obtained documentation indicating that Thurman had been involved in the payment for both motel rooms. When investigators obtained access to the rooms, they found evidence of prostitution, Thurman’s and the victim’s personal belongings, and an online advertisement offering escort services under Thurman’s alias. Investigators were also able to establish that Thurman was connected to prepaid debit cards that had been used to pay for online advertisements offering minors as escorts. In May 2014, investigators discovered another online advertisement featuring another underage victim, whom Thurman had transported from Georgia to Tallahassee, and Thurman was arrested.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Tallahassee Police Department, and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, whose joint investigation led to the charges in this case. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Eric K. Mountin.
“The safety and well-being of our children is a top priority for this U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice,” said U.S. Attorney Marsh. “We will continue to aggressively prosecute these cases to protect the community and children, who are our most innocent victims. Great praise is deserved by all of our law enforcement partners who contributed to the success of this investigation.”
“HSI remains committed to protecting the most vulnerable members of society, our youth,” said Susan L. McCormick, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Tampa. “This sentencing is the result of the hard work of HSI, FBI, Tallahassee Police Department, and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, working together to make our communities safer.”
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. The office strives to protect and serve the citizens of the Northern District of Florida through the ethical, vigorous, and impartial enforcement of the laws of the United States, to defend the national security, to improve the safety and quality of life in our communities through the protection of civil rights, and to protect the public funds and financial assets of the United States. To access available public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.