News and Press Releases

Ryan Grace Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison and Lifetime Supervised Release for Traveling Across State Lines to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct with a Minor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2012

Burlington, VT – The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Ryan Grace, 31, of Rutland, Vermont, was sentenced today to 180 months in prison, having pled guilty to one count of traveling across state lines for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor. Chief United States District Judge Christina C. Reiss, sitting in Rutland, also sentenced Grace to lifetime supervised release.

Court records indicate that, in June 2011, Grace traveled from Rutland to Hornell, New York, where he engaged in illicit sexual activity with a 13-year-old boy whom he had met online. A week later, Grace was on his way to Hornell to meet the boy in a hotel for a second sexual encounter, but was intercepted by his state probation officer, who had learned of his criminal conduct from an informant.

In 2003, Grace was convicted in Vermont State Court of sexually assaulting of an 11-year-old boy. At the same time, he was convicted in a related federal court case of possession of child pornography. He served concurrent sentences of 30 months' imprisonment for those offenses, and was still on state probation when he traveled to New York for the sexual encounter with the 13-year-old boy.

For his crime, Grace faced a maximum term of incarceration of 60 years, up to lifetime supervised release with a mandatory minimum of five years, and up to a $250,000 fine. The 180-month term of imprisonment imposed by Judge Reiss fell at the midpoint of the range prescribed by the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines. In sentencing Grace, Judge Reiss cited the seriousness of the crime, which she described as "hard to overstate," as well as Grace's history of child exploitation offenses.

The investigation was led by the by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Hornell, New York Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Christina Nolan prosecuted the case. Grace was represented by Elizabeth D. Mann, Esq., of Rutland, Vermont.

This prosecution was part of the U.S. Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorney's Offices and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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