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Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014

Clearwater men charged with sex trafficking of teen

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CLEARWATER — The FBI has charged two men with giving drugs to a 16-year-old girl and then offering her for sex, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa on Monday.

Gerald Eugene Mayham, 40, and Joel Raymond Nauta, 23, both of Clearwater, were each charged with one count of sex trafficking of children and one count of conspiring to engage in sex trafficking of children, the complaint says.

Mayham was already in custody in the Pinellas County Jail on another charge when the complaint was filed. Nauta was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshal’s Office on Wednesday.

According to the complaint, the girl lived with her mother at the Landmark at Savoy Square apartment complex at 2065 N. Highland Ave. when Mayham befriended her last year. Mayham also lived there, and his wife was the manager of the complex.

On Aug. 2, the girl’s mother contacted police to report her daughter had run away from home, the complaint says.

She told investigators that before the girl went missing she had been acting out, and recently she had seen her walking with Mayham at the apartment complex swimming pool, the complaint says. She said she called out to her daughter at that time, but the girl didn’t respond, the complaint says. As the mother approached the two, it appeared Mayham gave drugs to the girl before he took off with her purse and computer tablet, the complaint says.

She said her daughter was lethargic and smelled of marijuana and alcohol, the complaint states. The mother also believed her daughter was under the influence of prescription drugs.

The girl was found eight days after she was reported missing, the complaint says.

She told authorities she met Mayham at the apartment complex playground and began smoking marijuana with him and Nauta, the complaint says. They later provided her with Xanax, cocaine and alcohol, the document says.

Mayham began to walk the girl around the complex asking men if they wanted to have sex with her, the complaint says. When it came to the price, Mayham “would take whatever the men had,” the document says.

On other occasions, Mayham and Nauta walked with the girl in northern Clearwater, offering sex with her for $75, the complaint says.

Most of the men would pay $40 and, if she didn’t return in 10 minutes, the pair would bang on the john’s door, the complaint states.

The girl told authorities the encounters occurred more than 10 times, the complaint says.

She also told them that Mayham and Nauta choked her after she failed to have sex with a man in a wheelchair so the pair could steal his prescription pills, the complaint says.

In an interview with investigators, Mayham admitted he provided the girl with prescription pills, but he said any sexual acts “were committed on her own accord,” the complaint says.

sthompson@tampatrib.com. (727) 215-6504.

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