An Independence man’s angry, violent outburst because he had no sugar for his morning coffee brought police to his door.
What officers later found inside — numerous graphic videos of him sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl — led a federal judge Tuesday to sentence him to 60 years in prison with no parole.
Morgan Littleton, 33, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, where he pleaded guilty earlier this year to two counts of producing child pornography.
His victim, now 15, spoke eloquently and thoughtfully Tuesday about the deep emotional scars she is struggling to overcome.
“It surprises me how much I still hurt after three years,” she said. “It tears me apart knowing the things he’s done to me.”
The abuse left her depressed and feeling worthless. In her worst moment, she cut her wrist in a suicide attempt.
She still fears going out in public and fears trusting anyone, but more than anything else, she said, she fears that Littleton will someday go free.
“I’m scared that one day he will get out and do this to another little girl,” she said.
Littleton’s abuse of the girl was discovered in April 2013 when Independence police responded to a domestic violence call at the home he shared with three women and two children, the victim and a 5-year-old girl.
He was the “master” of the household, controlling the women in a bondage/sadomasochism lifestyle that the children were exposed to, said assistant U.S. attorney Teresa Moore.
On the day police were called, one of the women said Littleton grabbed her by the throat, slammed her against a wall and slapped her face because there was no sugar for his coffee.
Earlier in the day, she had discovered a video of Littleton having sex with the girl. She did not immediately report it because she said he would not let her leave the house or use the phone. But after she persuaded him to let her go to the store to get more sugar, she left with the 12-year-old and contacted police.
Police obtained a search warrant and discovered the pornographic videos.
The girl told investigators that she had been sexually abused about twice a week for six months. He would promise her food or the chance to see her friends in exchange for sex. Once when she said he was hurting her, Littleton told her to “deal with it.”
At Tuesday’s sentencing, Littleton expressed remorse and asked the judge to allow him the chance to turn his life around.
The girl said, “I know in my heart he’s not sorry.”
She added: “When you think about it, who would want to hurt an innocent 12-year-old?”
Before he pronounced the sentence, U.S. District Judge Gary Fenner told the girl he was impressed with her bravery and strength and assured her that “none of it was your fault.”
Fenner told Littleton that he had forfeited his right to be free in society.
“The damage you did to this young lady is absolutely inexcusable,” the judge said.