TULSA, Okla. – A Grand Lake man, who once worked as a fireman for a rural community, pleaded guilty to sexually abusing three juveniles on Thursday.
Jeffrey Carl Cunningham, 44, of Eucha pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Tulsa to three counts of aggravated sexual abuse to a minor child in Indian County.
According to the plea agreement, between Jan. 1, 1997, and Dec. 31, 2011, Cunningham sexually admitted to molesting three juvenile boys, the youngest being around 9 years old.
Cunningham admitted that in 2003 he sexually abused a 9-year-old boy during an outing at a creek in Delaware County. In 2011, Cunningham woke up a 10-year-old boy who had been asleep in Cunningham’s home when he began sexually abusing the child. Finally, sometime between Jan. 1, 1997, and Dec. 3, 1999, Cunningham woke a third child under the age of 12 by sexually abusing him. The child had also been staying in Cunningham’s home at the time of the abuse.
The 17-page plea agreement calls for Cunningham to serve 30 years in prison
Cunningham was charged in Delaware County District Court in September 2020 with one count of lewd molestation. The case was dismissed a year later after Cunningham’s attorney filed a “McGirt” motion based on wrong jurisdictional issues.
The “McGirt” ruling dismissed the case from Oklahoma state court and allowed the U.S. District Court to pick up the case.
A Delaware County arrest warrant and probable case affidavit filed Sept. 14, 2020 states several incidents where Cunningham, a firefighter for a rural agency, was investigated for sexual wrongdoing.
On April 1, 2007 Cunningham’s loan documents were found on the side of the road and with the loan papers was a printed “email listing several child porn tapes for sale,” the affidavit states. No further investigation was done on the case, the warrant states.
A second incident, dated July 12, 2015, a child was sexually assaulted and the victim named Cunningham as the suspect, the affidavit states. “No apparent follow-up investigation was conducted,” the warrant states.
In April 2020, investigators made contact with the victim, now an adult, and the victim confirmed the earlier allegations against Cunningham, the affidavit states.
Cunningham is also required to register as a sex offender, the agreement states.