BISMARCK — An ex-pharmacist from Bismarck has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for stalking, harassing and sexually exploiting a minor, including by secretly video recording the girl in her home.
U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland handed down the sentence on Tuesday, June 23 in Bismarck to Curtis James McGarvey, 52, who in March pleaded guilty to cyberstalking and sexual exploitation of a minor.
“The defendant targeted and exploited the child victim, and his efforts to dehumanize and humiliate her stopped today with this sentence, a just result to punish this defendant and deter others,” U.S. Attorney for North Dakota Drew Wrigley said in a statement.
Investigators determined McGarvey coerced a teenage minor through electronic means between September 2016 and January 2017, and again from January 2018 to April 2018, to “engage in sexually explicit conduct” so he could create pornography, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. He also secretly recorded her going in and out of her shower and changing clothes so he could convert the videos into still images, according to a news release.
“McGarvey then used the images to harass and taunt the minor female victim by anonymously sending them to others, including his own minor and adult children, using the fraudulent emails and social media accounts he developed after stealing her personal information from her home and cell phone,” the release said.
He initially was charged in Burleigh County District Court before federal prosecutors took over in July 2018.
Prosecutors, who asked for a sentence of about 22 years and four months in prison, said in court documents McGarvey sent the girl death and bomb threats, sexually explicit messages and more than 200 texts telling her to kill or harm herself.
The Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department started investigating McGarvey after it received a report in June 2016 that another girl’s cellphone had been hacked, according to court documents. The girl’s mother told investigators she received a photo of a nude person with a minor’s face edited on it with a threat of sending it to others, court documents said.
Officers eventually found dozens of photos and videos in his possession, according to court documents.
The defense acknowledged that McGarvey made poor decisions that ruined the girl’s life “for a number of years," adding he will lose several years of his life to incarceration.
“Thereafter, he will walk a branded man for his actions for the rest of his life,” the defense said in arguing for a 15-year sentence.
McGarvey had worked for Professional Pharmacy in Bismarck before the North Dakota Pharmacy Board suspended his license in July 2018. He later surrendered his license, Pharmacy Board Executive Director Mark Hardy said.