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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Mountain View Man Pleads Guilty To Production And Distribution Of Child Pornography

SAN JOSE – Grant Ridder pleaded guilty today to production, distribution, and possession of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Alex G. Tse and United States Secret Service Acting Special Agent in Charge John Roberts.  The guilty plea was accepted by the Honorable Lucy H. Koh, U.S. District Judge.  

According to his plea agreement, on July 27, 2013, Ridder, 27, of Mountain View, engaged in sexually explicit conduct with a minor and produced photographs and video of the sexual encounter.  In October 2013, he accessed the minor’s Facebook account without her permission and uploaded sexually explicit images of her to her Facebook page.  Ridder acknowledged that he uploaded the images with the intent to cause substantial emotional distress to the minor.  Ridder also possessed additional photographs of the minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  

Further, according to the plea agreement, on July 14, 2013, Ridder persuaded a second minor, aged between 12 and 15 years, to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing photographs which the minor sent to Ridder on his phone.  On July 26, 2013, Ridder coerced this minor to produce additional sexually explicit images of herself by threatening to post her prior sexually explicit photographs on a Russian website.  In January 2014, Ridder uploaded the sexually explicit photographs of the minor to a Russian-based website.  

Further according to the plea agreement, on December 7, 2013, Ridder coerced a third minor into producing sexually explicit images of herself by threatening to send her prior sexually explicit photographs to others.  In January 2014, Ridder uploaded the sexually explicit photographs of the minor to a Russian-based website.  

Lastly, according to the plea agreement, from approximately November 19, 2013, through June 18, 2014, Ridder used phone text messaging to entice a fourth minor to engage in sexual activity with him, knowing that she was a minor. 

A federal grand jury indicted Ridder on May 18, 2017, charging him with two counts of production of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a); three counts of distribution of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(2); one count of possession of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(4)(B); three counts of cyberstalking, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2261A; and one count of coercion and enticement of a minor, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b).  Ridder pleaded guilty to one count of production, one count of distribution, and one count of possession of child pornography.  

Judge Koh scheduled a sentencing hearing for December 5, 2018, at 9:15 a.m., in San Jose.  The minimum statutory sentence for violating 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a) (production) is a 15-year prison term; the maximum statutory sentence is a 30-year prison term.  The minimum statutory sentence for a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(2) (distribution) is five years in prison and the maximum prison term is 20 years. The maximum statutory sentence for violating 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(4)(B) (possession) is 10 years in prison.  Additional fines, victim restitution, and a term of supervised release also may be imposed; however, any sentence following conviction will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Maia Perez and Marissa Harris are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Nina Williams.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the United States Secret Service, the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office, the Stockton Police Department, and the Martinez Police Department.

If members of the public have any information relevant to this investigation or to suspected child predators or suspicious activity, they should contact Homeland Security Investigations through the toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or complete the online tip form at: https://www.ice.gov/webform/hsi-tip-form.  Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.  Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may also be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.
 

Updated September 5, 2018