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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 3, 2016

Pensacola Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison for Online Child Exploitation

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA –Robert M. Grafton Jr., 30, of Pensacola, was sentenced today to 15 years in federal prison and will be required to register as a sex offender.  A jury convicted Grafton of attempted enticement of a minor for sex, and Grafton also pled guilty to possession of child pornography just prior to jury selection for the trial.  The sentence was announced by Christopher P. Canova, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

At trial, the government presented evidence that, in May 2015, Grafton communicated online with an undercover law enforcement officer for the purpose of meeting a 12-year-old special needs child for sexual activity.  Grafton was arrested when he arrived at the arranged meeting location in Pensacola.  A search of his cellular telephone and digital media at his residence revealed numerous images and videos of child pornography.  This included electronic folders in a hidden partition, which contained child pornography involving infants and toddlers.

“Tragically, the advantages of advanced technology also bring opportunities for child predators to contact and victimize the most vulnerable members of our communities,” said United States Attorney Canova.  “Together with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to aggressively pursue and prosecute offenders who seek to harm children.”

“This predator attempted to target the most vulnerable in our society, a special needs child,” said Susan L. McCormick, special agent in charge of HSI Tampa.  “The hard work of our HSI special agents and partners prevented him from harming a child, and our communities are safer with him behind bars.”

The case was investigated by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, Pensacola Police Department, Gulf Breeze Police Department, and other agencies that are part of the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David L. Goldberg.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General.  To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website.  For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.

For more information, contact:
Amy Alexander, Public Information Officer
(850) 216-3854, amy.alexander@usdoj.gov

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated November 3, 2016