American man who sexually abused multiple Filipino girls sentenced to 50 years
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Georgia
ATLANTA - Stephen Gordon Grimes has been sentenced for producing child pornography overseas and transporting the material to the United States. Over the course of three years, he recorded videos of his sexual abuse of girls as young as four years old.
“Grimes exploited poverty in the Philippines to gain access to multiple young girls,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “He sexually abused these children for multiple years and recorded the crimes. His sentence rightly reflects the harm that he inflicted on these children.”
“I’m thankful for the successful resolution of and I’m happy that the victims can begin the healing process knowing that this predator will no longer be able to prey upon them,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Travis Pickard, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) operations in Georgia and Alabama. “HSI and its law enforcement partners around the globe work tirelessly to protect the most vulnerable population and hold those who seek to prey upon them, accountable.”
According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the charges and other information presented in court: around 2009, Grimes met two Filipino women in an online chat room. These women, who were sisters, agreed to arrange for Grimes to sexually exploit young girls in the Philippines, including the children of one of the women. Grimes worked as a civilian contractor on a Navy ship and often traveled to the Philippines at the end of each contract. He paid one of the women $500 a month to gain exclusive access to his child victims while he was in the Philippines.
Beginning no later than February 2016 and continuing until May 2019, Grimes used a GoPro device to record his sexual abuse of Filipino girls between the ages of four and 13 years. He also used a cell phone camera to record his sexual assault of the girls.
When Grimes traveled from South Korea to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta on September 29, 2020, special agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) confiscated his computers, cell phone and other electronic devices. A subsequent analysis of these items revealed that he had produced 340 videos and 650 images of his abuse of Filipino girls. The analysis of his computer also showed that he downloaded 523 videos and 4,470 images of child pornography from the internet.
Following Grimes’ arrest, HSI special agents undertook an operation that led to the rescue of the girls whom he had exploited and resulted in the local prosecution of the two women who conspired with Grimes.
Stephen Gordon Grimes, 51, of Lompoc, California, has been sentenced to 50 years in prison to be followed by a lifetime term of supervised release. Grimes was found guilty by a jury on April 7, 2023, of multiple counts of producing child pornography outside the United States, attempting to transport child pornography, and possessing child pornography. Parole does not exist in the federal prison system.
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul R. Jones and Amy M. Palumbo prosecuted the case.
This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Attorney General launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices around the country, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.
Updated July 19, 2023
Project Safe Childhood