Lompoc man of the year facing life in prison for child molestation
January 6, 2017
A longtime public servant and former Lompoc man of the year is facing life in prison after pleading guilty to 17 counts of child molestation charges. Anthony Michael Durham, 67, is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison for sexually abusing two children.
Durham is a former California Highway Patrol officer who retired from the agency in 2003. He received a $74,238 pension from CalPERS in 2015, according to Transparent California. Durham also did some work for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.
While in retirement, Durham worked as a Lompoc police volunteer. He also served on the Lompoc City Council in 2009 after being appointed to fill a vacancy.
The Lompoc Chamber of Commerce named Durham the Lompoc Valley Man of the Year in 2008. Durham was also reportedly nominated for the Valley of Flowers Peace Prize in 2012.
Lompoc police officers arrested Durham in Sept. 2016. On Thursday, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office announced Durham pleaded guilty to 14 counts of sexual contact with a child 10 years of age or younger, three counts of sexual content with a child 10 or younger and three counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14.
Durham is facing a sentence of 45 years to life in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 23. Durham remains in Santa Barbara County Jail with his bail set at $1 million.
Another former man of the year on the Central Coast, Lenny Jones, was also recently convicted of child molestation charges. Jones, the former Arroyo Grande citizen of the year, was sentenced last year to nearly 15 years in prison.