37-year-old Michael Peyton Gunn was sentenced Tuesday to three life terms in federal prison after being convicted on nine charges including sex trafficking of a minor. Gunn must also pay $800,000 in restitution, register as a sex offender and is subjected to a life sentence of supervised release if he is freed from federal prison.
“Michael Peyton Gunn inflicted unspeakable physical and emotional torture upon his victim, and his depraved actions demonstrate unequivocally that he is a danger to society,”“It is entirely appropriate that he spend the rest of his life behind bars.”said U.S. Attorney Estes.
35-year-old Amanda Gunn, Michael’s former wife is scheduled to be sentenced. She faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison after she previously plead guilty to Sex Trafficking Conspiracy.
Michael Payton Gunn was found guilty of all nine charges of Conspiracy to Engage in Sex Trafficking of a Minor; Sex Trafficking of a Child; Coercion and Enticement of a Minor to Engage in Sexual Activity; four counts of Production of Child Pornography; Possession of Child Pornography; and Obstruction of a Sex-Trafficking Investigation. Chief Judge Hall sentenced Gunn to simultaneous terms of life in prison on the first three counts; 30-year terms on each count of Production of Child Pornography; a 20-year term for Possession of Child Pornography; and a 25-year term for Obstruction of a Sex-Trafficking Investigation.
The victim, who was a minor, testified that Gunn employed rewards, fear, threat of harm, physical abuse, manupulation and sexual abuse since the victim was 7-years-old. His sexual abuse steadily grew from getting the victim to participate in child pornography to eventually forcing the victim to sex trafficking through online advertising.
“Gunn preyed on an innocent child solely for his own pleasure, without regard to the grievous and long-lasting harm his depraved conduct would cause,”said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta.
“However, thanks to the dedicated work from our agents who aggressively pursue these heinous criminals, Gunn will spend the rest of his life behind bars where he will never be able to harm another child.”
FBI agents assisted with a child pornography case in Hopkins County, Texas in February 2020. Among the contraband images agents discovered were more than 700 photos, many depicting sexually explicit child exploitation featuring the minor victim. Digital location identified those images as originating from the vicinity of Gunn’s home in Evans, Ga. Agents from the Augusta FBI office later questioned Gunn and searched his home. There, they found evidence of the production of child pornography and exploitation of the minor victim, along with electronic devices storing multiple graphic images of child sexual exploitation, torture, and abuse.
Yet another child predator sentenced
45-year-old Jonathan Eugene Grantham, a former Aiken County high school teacher, is serving 140 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to Coercion and Enticement of a Minor to Engage in Sexual Acitivity. He responded to the ad trafficking the minor victim and traveled from SC to Evans to take the victim to a motel for sex in return for payment.