Tulsa man sentenced to life in prison for child sex abuse, possession of child sex abuse materials

The Tulsa County Courthouse

TULSA, Okla. — Content Warning: The following article contains descriptions of child sex abuse and possession of child sex abuse materials.

A Tulsa man who repeatedly sexually abused a child under the age of 12 was sentenced Thursday in federal court, according to U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.

Chief U.S. District Judge Judge John F. Heil III sentenced Joshua David Slinkard, 41, to life in federal prison and a lifetime supervised release.

On Sept. 21, 2021, Slinkard pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a minor in Indian Country and one count of possession of child sex abuse materials (CSAM). Slinkard later tried to withdraw his plea, but his request was denied.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office, FBI, and Tulsa Police Department are committed to seeking justice on behalf of children who have suffered at the hands of sexual predators like Joshua Slinkard. This life sentence serves as a reminder that such criminal behavior will not be tolerated,” said Johnson.

In a sentencing memorandum, Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Childress called Slinkard a danger to all children. She stated that Slinkard’s criminal history exhibited “a predilection to sexually abuse children.”

In addition to abusing the victim in this specific case, Slinkard also touched the victim’s eight-year-old friend inappropriately and was convicted in Mayes County for an offense that involved him touching a five-year-old child.

Childress also noted that Slinkard was found to be in possession of CSAM.

The abuse charged in this case occurred from Jan. 1, 2009 through Nov. 26, 2010. According to court documents, the victim was frequently left in Slinkard’s care. Slinkard sexually abused the victim and often called her derogatory names.

Slinkard warned the victim not to tell anyone. When she did tell someone about the abuse, he consistently attempted to discredit the child’s pleas for help. The child repeatedly reported the abuse to her mother and other family members, but she was not believed.

In 2011, the child finally disclosed the abuse to a school counselor after watching a presentation at school on sexual abuse. The counselor contacted authorities, and Slinkard was arrested. Even after his arrest, Slinkard attempted to obstruct justice by writing a letter to the child’s mother pleading with her to convince the child to say she lied about the abuse.

During the investigation, law enforcement also found Slinkard to be in possession of video files containing the sexual abuse of children, including those of children who were younger than 12 years of age.

At the sentencing hearing, the victim — now an adult — emphasized that when a child discloses abuse, others need to listen to them and believe them. The victim also stated that although it has been difficult for her, she is striving to live a full life by working and taking college courses.

In 2011, Slinkard pleaded guilty to sexual abuse and child pornography charges in Tulsa County District Court, but the conviction was subsequently dismissed based on the Supreme Court’s decision in McGirt v Oklahoma.

Because the crime occurred within the boundaries of the Muscogee Nation reservation and the defendant is an enrolled tribal citizen, the federal government prosecuted the case.