Former boxer sentenced to 30 years for child pornography, sex trafficking charges

File photo
File photo

A former professional boxer who fought under the name "Turbo" and was known to federal investigators as "Turbo Hefner" will spend the next 30 years behind bars after he was sentenced in federal court following his conviction last March on child pornography and sex trafficking charges.

Keshawn Boykins, 27, was convicted by a jury of 10 men and two women after less than three hours of deliberation following the three-day trial last March. He was originally indicted in 2019 on firearms and drug charges and went to trial on two counts of sex trafficking, one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of production of child pornography.

Boykins, who was represented by Mark Alan Jesse of Little Rock, did not testify at his trial. The defendant had been scheduled to enter a plea in the matter last March that could have resulted in up to eight years in prison had he not elected to go to trial.

Instead, Boykins walked into the courtroom Friday facing mandatory minimum prison sentences of 15 years on three of the counts and a five-year minimum sentence on a fourth count.

U.S. District Judge James M. Moody Jr. sentenced Boykins to two minimum sentences of 15 years each on the sex trafficking counts and one five-year minimum sentence on the child pornography distribution count, with those sentences to run concurrently for a total of 15 years. On a count of production of child pornography, Moody sentenced Boykins to an additional 15 years in prison to run consecutively to his other sentences, for a total of 30 years.

"It's my intention to sentence you to 30 years in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons," Moody announced after calculating Boykins' sentencing options through a complex sentencing chart encompassing the four counts he was convicted of at the conclusion of his jury trial.

Jesse asked Moody to consider sentencing his client to the mandatory minimum sentences on all four offenses and to run those sentences concurrently to one another, which would effectively put Boykins behind bars for a single term of 15 years. Jesse noted that he was appointed well into the case to represent Boykins after the defendant requested that his previous lawyer be replaced.

"As we approached the trial date we negotiated a plea agreement that Mr. Boykins later rejected," Jesse said.

Jesse said he had explained to Boykins before his rejection of the plea agreement the inherent risks of going to trial on charges that were subject to mandatory minimum sentences nearly twice what was negotiated in the plea deal Boykins passed over.

"He chose his constitutional right to have a trial," he said.

In a brief statement, Boykins blamed his crimes on his youth but stopped short of admitting actual wrongdoing.

"I ain't even guilty of anything for whatever it's worth, but I was young and I wasn't thinking about a lot but making money," he said. "In the process, I probably did affect some people. I ain't saying it's right or wrong, I just didn't understand what I was doing at the time. I was 22 then and I'm 27 now, and it ain't a great amount of time but I've grown. I've matured."

At the time, Boykins said, he didn't believe his actions had led to the harm of anyone else. His trial was dominated mostly by the testimony of two women who told jurors their experiences at Boykins' hands.

One of the women, a 22-year-old identified only as "H.E.," testified that Boykins had lured her with promises of making fast money, but after she agreed to move in with him he kept her captive and began beating her when she refused to engage in prostitution. The woman testified that she escaped when Boykins took her and his girlfriend to a Walmart in Little Rock, where she ran to an employee for help.

A second victim, identified as "T.M.," testified that she met Boykins in 2018 when she was 17, and that she soon moved in with him. Boykins, she said, then recruited her into prostitution.

She testified that Boykins posted suggestive and nude photos of her online along with online profiles he had crafted for her on various dating sites. She testified that she was with Boykins for about six months, during which she estimated she earned roughly $50,000 from prostitution.

"I don't know how, after hearing that testimony during his trial, Mr. Boykins can sit here and say he didn't know he did any harm to them," U.S. Attorney Kristin Bryant said. "To sit here and say he didn't shows a complete lack of remorse."

Bryant asked for a guideline sentence to provide general deterrence to outsiders looking at the sentence as well as to send a message of specific deterrence to Boykins himself, "who obviously hasn't received it."

In addition to the 30-year prison term, of which Boykins will have to serve a minimum of 25.5 years before being considered eligible for early release on "good time," Moody sentenced him to an additional 10 years of supervised release after he leaves prison. During the term of supervised release, Boykins will be subject to a long list of conditions, violations of which could result in more prison time.

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