Raleigh man sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison for producing child pornography

Published 4:53 pm Thursday, November 17, 2022

From U.S. Attorney Michael Easley / Eastern District of North Carolina:

NEW BERN, N.C. –– Stephan Grimes, 48, of Raleigh was sentenced today to 236 months in prison for production of child pornography.  Grimes 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.

Homeland Security agents, Wake County Sheriff’s deputies, and U.S. Marshals executed a search warrant at Grimes’ home on February 20, 2019.  Grimes was interviewed and admitted to downloading child pornography.  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 placed a sex toy on her genitals.  Grimes identified the girl by name and initially claimed that she was 18.  Agents noted wall-mounted surveillance cameras in the living room and in the bedroom that appeared to have been used to produce the images.  Agents seized a computer, hard drives, and a USB drive.

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.  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.

A full forensic examination of Grimes’ electronic devices uncovered 437 images and 5 videos of child pornography.  While many files appeared to have been collected from the internet, the great majority were of the then-minor victim.  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.

A copy of this press release is located on our website. Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:20-cr-00019-FL.