7/31/2015 – The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Western District of Oklahoma is upset that JohnTV.com published the identities of two confessed child sex traffickers – so much so that Assistant U.S. Attorneys K. McKenzie Anderson and Julia E. Barry have filed a ‘Motion for Protective Order’ to try and ‘protect’ their identities from further discovery and publication. So desperate is the U.S. Attorney’s office to protect these scum that they are trying to justify their motion by citing the case of The United States of America vs. Osama Bin Laden (seriously, you can’t make this up).
All of which gets even more humorous when one realizes that its the U.S. Attorney’s office that actually first publicly released the names of the scumbags they are now trying to protect.
Earlier this month JohnTV reported on an alleged child sex trafficking case by Tonya Gay Gum of Oklahoma City and her four co-defendants. All of which are alleged to have actively participated in the sexual trafficking of two young girls – ages 14 and 15 years old.
Through JohnTV’s research of the facts surrounding the case, we came upon (and subsequently published) the identities of two individuals that had previously only been identified in court papers by the U.S. Attorney’s office as ‘Cooperating Witnesses' aka, Snitches.
You can see the federal court document below. A third ‘cooperating witness’s’ name has been redacted by JohnTV because she is also identified as a human trafficking victim (click images for larger version)…
In this case, the term ‘Cooperating Witness’ is just a bunch of undeserved fluff for what everyone else would describe as child sex predators who were only witness to the very crimes they themselves were engaged in. As to ‘cooperating’…. They are only cooperating inasmuch as they hope their snitching will get them a lighter prison sentence.
The two cooperating snitch scumbag trafficker witnesses are convicted felon and registered sex offender Maurice Morlee Johnson and convicted rapist (and former Pottawatomie County jail detention officer) Hiram Mitchell III (see DOC records below). Both of which have already pleaded guilty to the sexual trafficking of one or both of the juveniles involved in the Gum case and are awaiting sentencing. You can read the federal child sex trafficking indictment against Johnson and Mitchell at the bottom of this page.
After discovering the ‘cooperating witnesses’ names (in a publicly available court record), JohnTV did what JohnTV does and has done for almost 20-years – We very publicly and unapologetically outed the offenders.
The U.S. Attorney’s response? To cowardly have another state law enforcement agency contact JohnTV’s founder Brian Bates and try to convince him to remove the scumbag cooperating witnesses names from our reporting. JohnTV’s response? "Not gonna happen."
So, the U.S. Attorney’s office went to Plan B and filed a formal motion with the court to obtain a protective order sealing the records containing the scumbag child sex trafficking cooperating witnesses identities and forbidding anyone directly involved in the case from sharing the scumbag child sex trafficking cooperating witnesses names, photographs, etc. with anyone else – specifically members of the media and activist groups like JohnTV.
To make their argument, the U.S. Attorney’s office gave a laundry list of precedence regarding protecting the identities of crime victims and even referenced U.S.A. vs. Osama Bin Laden (no. 98-CR-1023, 2001 WL 66393) – specifically – the disclosure of cooperating witness and victim identities would “jeopardize the ongoing Government investigation into the activities of alleged associates of the Defendants.”
The two major points the U.S. Attorney’s office is apparently trying to make is that sealing the names of the scumbag child sex trafficking cooperating witnesses and victims will…
- Protect the privacy of the two juvenile victims.
- Protect the safety of the two scumbag cooperating witnesses.
Lets get this out of the way right now… JohnTV has zero issue with the names of the victims in this, or any other human sex trafficking case, being kept private. That being said, to try and use that line of thought to justify giving ‘protection’ or anonymity to scumbag child sex traffickers is unfathomable and a slap in the face to every child and adult victim of sexual trafficking out there.
The U.S. Attorney’s office argues that releasing the names of the two scumbag child sex trafficking cooperating witnesses will somehow reveal the identity of the juvenile victims, jeopardize their ongoing investigation and discourage other criminals from snitching out their co-conspirators.
JohnTV calls bullshit on all of those assertions.
The government and law enforcement agencies routinely and boastfully release the names of accused pimps and sex traffickers on a regular basis without concern for the victims (because there is no justifiable concern). Both Johnson and Mitchell are in custody and have been for some time – so their participation in the snitching out their co-defendant is over. Lastly, criminals couldn’t care less if their names are published in the media or to websites like JohnTV. They cooperated for one reason and one reason only – to try and reduce their prison sentence (both are facing life).
JohnTV will continue to follow this case and will continue to shine a spotlight on the offenders and their identity.
UPDATE: 8/6/2015 – JohnTV just checked online court records and it appears the gov’t was successful in sealing the previously public records identifying cooperating scumbag snitch witnesses Johnson and Mitchell. Guess its a good thing we made copies of those records before they were sealed - you can read those documents below...
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