Augusta Woman, Amanda Howard Indicted for Participation in Child Sex Trafficking Conspiracy
The U.S. government has zero tolerance for child molestation and child sex trafficking. The laws against trafficking and sexual exploitation of children in America became necessary following the high growth of trafficking and other related crimes in our communities. To ensure that children within American borders are protected from any form of molestation, including labor and sex trafficking, federal agencies, such as the FBI, have a unit dedicated to fighting sex trafficking or minors and prosecuting offenders in court.
A press release published by the Office of the U.S. Attorney, Southern District of Georgia on 4th November 2021 indicted a 34 years old Augusta woman of participation in a child sex trafficking conspiracy. According to the press release, the defendant, Amanda Gunn (also known as Howard), pled guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of Sex Trafficking Conspiracy, which her former husband, Michael Gunn, 36, of Evans, awaits trial.
Presiding over the case, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, David H. Estes, maintains that the plea subjects Gunn to a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison, up to life in prison, with no possibility of parole in the federal system. The plea agreement was established just after a pre-trial conference. Acting U.S. Attorney Estes said that they’d continue to be determined to find justice for the victim and hold accountable those guilty of this horrific exploitation.
It is also known that Michael Gunn, 36, of Evans, former husband to Amanda, who was initially indicted in March 2020 by a U.S. District Court Grand Jury charging him with four counts of Production of Child Pornography and one count of Possession of Child Pornography is still awaiting trial. In a superseding indictment, earlier in the year, Michael Gunn was also indicted with charges of sex trafficking conspiracy, sex trafficking of a child, coercion and enticement of a child to engage in sexual activity, and obstruction of a child sex trafficking investigation. He is scheduled for a jury trial on November 15 before U.S. District Chief Judge J. Randal Hall.
Preceding court documents and testimony showed that an FBI investigation in Texas led agents to Michael Gunn at his Evans home as a source of child pornography. This resulted in the discovery of multiple images and videos of child exploitation on electronic devices in his possession.
The press release also highlighted a related case in which one 45-year old Jonathan Eugene Grantham of Graniteville, S.C., and a former Aiken County high school teacher, awaits sentencing after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court to Coercion and Enticement of a Minor to Engage in Sexual Activity. FBI agents initiated the investigation of Grantham with information derived from the Gunn investigation. According to facts established by agents in July 2019, Grantham traveled from South Carolina to Columbia County to engage in sexual activity with a victim who was under age 18. In his plea agreement, Grantham acknowledged contacting the victim through the internet to coerce the victim to engage in sexual activity. This makes the defendant culpable for committing child molestation, a criminal offense, for which he will be charged to court.
Follow the FBI anti-trafficking reports for more news and to learn more about human trafficking and child sex trafficking.
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At The Mission Haven, we are committed to providing comprehensive and transformational Haven of Healing to victims and survivors of sexual exploitation, domestic violence, and sex trafficking. We believe that these children still have a chance at life at its best, and we need every support we can get to provide the best support possible continually.
Our goal is to provide them with this assistance, including legal support where necessary. With your generous donations and support, we can continue to provide a truly safe haven of hope and healing equipped with essential resources to lift victims and survivors of domestic minor sex trafficking. To give, volunteer, or become a partner, feel free to contact us today.