Topeka man sentenced to 35 years for sex-trafficking
A Shawnee County District Court judge sentenced 28 year-old Anthony Long of Topeka to 35 years in prison for attempting to lure a 14 year-old girl into sex-trafficking.
Shawnee County District Attorney Michael Kagay says Long had several young girls between the ages of 14 to 16 living in a north Topeka home providing food and shelter in exchange for sexual requests. Kagay says Long came into contact with them via social media.
"He becomes their friend, he appears as their friend, makes promises gifts things like that," said Kagay.
Authorities became aware of Long's behavior after a 14 year-old girl from outside of Shawnee County came in contact with Long with the help of his accomplice 18 year-old Hope Zeferjohn. Kagay says the underage victim and Long became friends but then Long began sexual and threatening abuse and the girl notified her family.
"Most 14 or 15 year old girls in that situation won't know what to do,” said Kagay.“Thankfully the girl’s father in this case had some insight about what was going on and this whole case just built up out of that pro-active parenting."
Neighbors of Long were unaware of what was happening in their north Topeka neighborhood but one neighbor recounts seeing multiple people come in and out of his residence.
The neighbor did not want to be identified or appear on camera and in order to protect the victim’s privacy, we will not give the address of the home where the abuse took place.
"There were nights where it was a car after car kind of thing,” said the unidentified neighbor. “Sometimes it was the same people, some of them I've never seen before, some of them I saw a few times, there were people in and out of there quite a bit."
Once he's out of prison, Long will have to register as a sex offender for 25 years and be on lifetime post-release supervision. Zeferjohn pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated human trafficking and is awaiting sentencing which is scheduled July 7th.
"It makes me sick to think that there is people out there who would take advantage of children like that,” said the unidentified neighbor. “My kids come outside and play, this is their home, this is their neighborhood, and their friends live here.”