Thomasville Man Convicted of Child Exploitation Crimes

By: USDOJ Press Release; Matt Galka Email
By: USDOJ Press Release; Matt Galka Email

Thomasville, GA -- June 6, 2012 --

56-year-old Keith Sumner of Thomasville will now be spending a long time behind bars. Sumner owns a plumbing business in town. He was convicted Tuesday in Tallahassee for using the internet to sexually entice who he thought were two 14 year-old girls.

"They're sick! Anytime an adult makes with a child he's sick, he's very sick," said Thomasville resident Willie Lurry.

According to an official release from the U.S. Department of Justice, in October of 2011, Sumner "quickly focused on one girl, saying that he did not want trouble, but "would love to teach" her [about sex]."

After several hours of email exchanges, Sumner drove from Thomasville to Tallahassee.

The release goes on to say that "Sumner brought condoms, a variety of sexual paraphernalia, and narcotic drugs to the arrest location."

The 14 year-old girls were actually undercover law enforcement agents.

"He was a real people person, he was very outgoing, very soft spoken, he was a good person," said Sumner's neighbor, Keith Graham.

Graham still can't believe this was the same man he used to do yard-work for.

"As far as being a predator I never would have thought in a million years that we were standing in front of a person that was doing that."


Tallahassee, FL -- June 5, 2012 --

By jury verdicts returned this morning in the U.S. District Court in Tallahassee, Charles Keith Sumner, 56, of Thomasville, Georgia, was convicted of using the internet to attempt to entice a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity and of traveling in interstate commerce for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual activity with a minor.

Evidence at trial showed that Sumner responded to two internet ads in October 2011, each indicating that a fourteen-year-old girl was interested in sexual activity. Sumner quickly focused on one girl, saying that he did not want trouble, but “would love to teach” her [about sex]. After several hours of electronic messaging, Sumner drove from his Thomasville residence to an undercover location in Tallahassee to engage in sex with the “fourteen-year-old.” He was arrested at 2:30 on the morning of October 13, 2011. Sumner brought condoms, a variety of sexual paraphernalia, and narcotic drugs to the arrest location. Both of the “fourteen-year-old girls” were in fact undercover law enforcement agents, working with the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children (“ICAC”) Task Force.

The following day, Thomas County, Georgia, Sheriff’s investigators executed a search warrant at defendant’s plumbing business/residence, seizing two computers. According to trial testimony, the computers and defendant’s cellular telephone contained evidence that defendant was the person who communicated with the undercover agents. These devices also held approximately 85 images of young women in provocative poses, which were offered to rebut defendant’s claim that he was entrapped by the undercover agents.

Sumner faces a mandatory minimum term of ten years and up to life in prison on the enticement conviction and up to thirty years on the travel conviction. His sentencing is scheduled for August 29, 2012, before United States District Judge Robert L. Hinkle. Judge Hinkle remanded Sumner into custody during trial.

Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, credited the success of this prosecution to the joint efforts of the agencies participating in the North Florida ICAC, particularly Homeland Security Investigations, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the United States Marshals Service, and the Tallahassee Police Department. Ms. Marsh said, “We have no higher priority than the protection of the children in our community.”

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael T. Simpson, who is the Senior Litigation Counsel for the Northern District of Florida.

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  • by blonde on Jun 9, 2012 at 09:14 AM
    It's about time they got him, there is more in Thomasville using drugs & exploiting children & they are in law enforcement. It's been going on for years. Thomasville is corrupt all around.
  • by Selara Spires Location: Clearwater Florida on Jun 8, 2012 at 08:14 AM
    Keith is a fighter. He will get back on his knees very soon.
  • by Terri's friend Location: Holton Screet on Jun 7, 2012 at 05:50 PM
    I been wondering. About certain things. It is only certain. That someone on Keith's computer. Typed words to another computer. There is no proof. That he did type. The words that were written. IT could be. That someone else. Wanted to talk. To a 34 year old police. Woman. It is great. That he is only going to get. Some house arrest. And then some probation. I will always wonder. If he is weird. I think he should shave. And never to refuse. A U.S Marshall. To open his door. Bit it is not a crime. To be stupid. But it is best to know 2 things. Never go to FAMU. NEver try to solicit cops. Both are bad.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 7, 2012 at 12:46 PM
    I think if he did what he did sure put him away or get him treatment. I am although wary if every arrest is actually isn't a potential set up. it would be very easy for pranksters to contact a young girl assuming she is a cop then some man that is just desperate and just relay messages back and forth changing some details like age making him think he seeing an 18 year old living with parents. There are those that will stoop to that level just for perverse fun.
  • by Terri Location: Tallahassee on Jun 7, 2012 at 11:52 AM
    This man is nothing but a pedophile, the scum of the earth. He was caught red-handed by the police. All you people that know him want to act like he isn't that bad, but you need to stop and think about the lifetime of childrens lives he has touched and what that does to a girl. His actions will cause a lifetime of pain for those girls. This has nothing to do with race, all races are capable of pedophilia.
    • reply
      by Colt on Jun 7, 2012 at 03:02 PM in reply to Terri
      He want do it any time soon! His days are over!
  • by A. Nony Mous Location: Thomasville on Jun 7, 2012 at 11:23 AM
    I wish they would conduct more "to catch a predator" type of stings. There is no telling how many more cCharles Keith Sumner's there are. If they caught a sophisticated 56 year old High School Graduate I am sure they can get dozens more right here in Tallahassee.
  • by Get Real Location: Everywhere on Jun 7, 2012 at 11:10 AM
    I can sum it up in one word.... LOSER!!!
  • by CK Sumner Location: Jail on Jun 7, 2012 at 10:46 AM
    "Statistics show that 1 out of 10 Americans live next to a pedophile. Not me... I only live next to two gorgeous twelve year olds"
  • by Trish Location: Tally on Jun 7, 2012 at 09:11 AM
    We should focus on our own crimes in Tallahassee. Let Thomasville catch their own criminals.
    • reply
      by SNA on Jun 7, 2012 at 12:04 PM in reply to Trish
      I guess you don't understand that he left Thomasville and drove to Tallahassee to meet this "girl." His crime was committed here. There were 3 dozen or more people caught during a two week period (or so).
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 7, 2012 at 12:32 PM in reply to Trish
      They were focusing on Tallahassee crime. This could of been a local child there that he could have preyed on but instead of it being a child it was the police doing a great job at getting these people out of your neighborhood and our neighborhood. I'm all for catching any criminal no matter where they are from. Awesome work.
  • by Ms. E Location: Thomasville on Jun 7, 2012 at 08:47 AM
    My husband worked for Keith for a very short time. When Keith blantantly snorted coke off his desk right in front of him, he left the job and did not go back. He was never paid as agreed and I told him that people like him will pay in the end - just leave it be. We never knew he was a sicko predator on top of a druggie.
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