The U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced last week that two guilty pleas have been entered in separate child sex crimes cases that both involved Okemah residents.
According to a press release sent out by the USAO, 35-year-old Steven James McNinch pleaded guilty to Sexual Exploitation of Children, while, in a separate case, 28-year-old Tyler Leevan Hill entered a guilty plea to Abusive Sexual Contact with a Child in Indian Country on November 28.
It was alleged that McNinch “employed, used, persuaded, induced, enticed and coerced a person under the age of 18 years to engage in sexually explicit conduct … for the purpose of producing any visual depiction of such conduct, and such visual depiction was produced using materials that have been mailed, shipped and transported in interstate and foreign commerce” on or around August 6, 2017, the press release said.
This case and the subsequent charges were a result of an investigation by the Okmulgee County Sheriff’s Office, Okmulgee County Department of Human Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, this crime is punishable by no less than 15 years of imprisonment, followed by a term of supervised release of up to life, up to a $250,000 fine or both.
Hill’s indictment stems from an investigation by the FBI and Muscogee Creek Nation Lighthouse Tribal Police.
That indictment, the USAO press release said, alleged that sometime on or around July 22, 2016, Hill, a Native American “did knowingly engage in sexual contact … with a person who had attained the age of 12 years, but had not attained the age of 16 years, and was at least four years younger than the defendant, with an intent to arouse and gratify the sexual desire of any person.
The charge is punishable by up to two years in prison, followed by a term of supervised release of up to life, up to a $250,000 fine or both.
The Honorable Steven P. Shreder and the Honorable Kimberly E. West, U.S. Magistrate Judges in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, accepted the pleas from McNinch and Hill, respectively.
Both magistrates ordered pre-sentence investigation reports.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Snow represented the United States in both cases.