North Carolina man sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison for production of child pornography

Published 3:28 pm Sunday, November 27, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

A Raleigh was sentenced November 15, 2022 to 236 months in prison for production of child pornography, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina. Stephan Grimes, 48, pleaded guilty to the charge on September 14, 2021.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, in October 2018, the Cary Police Department was investigating a peer-to-peer child pornography distribution on the BitTorrent filesharing network. “They identified an IP address from which they were able to download a torrent file containing a large amount of child pornography. Internet service provider records identified the IP address as belonging to the Raleigh home of Stephan Grimes,” stated the release.

Homeland Security agents, Wake County Sheriff’s deputies and U.S. Marshals executed a search warrant at Grimes’ home on February 20, 2019. According to the press release, Grimes was interviewed and admitted to downloading child pornography and an on-site forensic review of a computer also revealed multiple images depicting a young girl sitting on a couch in the home as Grimes touched her in an explicit manner.

Get the latest headlines sent to you

“Grimes identified the girl by name and initially claimed that she was 18,” the press release continued. “Agents noted wall-mounted surveillance cameras in the living room and in the bedroom that appeared to have been used to produce the images.”

A computer, hard drives and a USB drive were seized by agents.

“Officers interviewed the subject of the photographs, and she described to officers how Grimes made sexual advances that eventually resulted in them having sex when she was 17,” stated the press release. “Grimes took sexual photos and recordings despite her being a minor and told her that she could make money through pornography once she was 18.”

According to the press release, full forensic examination of Grimes’ electronic devices uncovered 437 images and five videos of child pornography. “While many files appeared to have been collected from the internet, the great majority were of the then-minor victim,” the release continued. “Two long videos depicting the sexual abuse of the victim were filmed in December 2018 and January 2019, using the dual wall-mounted cameras in Grimes’ home.”

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. The Department of Homeland Security and Wake County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Jake D. Pugh prosecuted.