Days before his 30th birthday on Feb. 3, Anaheim's James William Thurman decided he wanted to "pop" the "cherry" of Giselle, a 14-year-old Altadena girl he'd met on the Internet, and so he rented a motel room in Fullerton for the illegal rendezvous.
To divert suspicions, Thurman–who lives in an apartment complex across the street from an elementary school and a six-minute drive to Disneyland–took counter-measures. He scheduled to meet the girl first in public at a Starbucks on Harbor Boulevard and he brought a Bible with him as a prop that masked intentions represented by the condoms and marijuana in his pockets.
Those are the government's allegations a magistrate judge heard this week inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse.
It turns out that Giselle was in reality a male Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agent assigned to child exploitation cases.
Whether Thurman (a.k.a. James William Thurman-Tanner) will challenge the DHS account isn't yet known. In the custody of U.S. marshals, he faces a March 9 court hearing. A magistrate judge presently considers him a flight risk given there's a potential life in prison punishment. In 2008, prosecutors convicted this defendant for having unlawful sex with a minor in Riverside County.
According to court records, Thurman came to the attention of DHS agents in March 2014 when they say they discovered he'd exchanged graphic child pornography images via the Internet and Craigslist with another man in 2012. DHS claims some of the images involve preschool-aged kids.
Agents created the fake Giselle online presence by initially posing as a 19-year-old. On January 31, Thurman initiated a chat with the fake girl, who then announced she was actually 14 and open to the idea of sex if she didn't experience pain, according to court records.
During the chats–portions of which are contained in court records, Thurman promised oral copulation plus alcohol and marijuana consumption would numb any of her pain from intercourse.
"On Saturday, you will no longer be a girl," he allegedly wrote. "You will be a woman."
"What will I do to become a woman?" the fake girl replied.
"Sex turns girls into women . . . Do not tell anyone you had sex with me," he allegedly answered.
She wrote, "Okay, are you worried about getting in trouble?"
"Yes, I could get sent to prison for this."
Assistant United States Attorney Michael Anthony Brown will prosecute the case.