Cyberstalker sentenced for child exploitation crimes
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Georgia
ATLANTA - Emanuel Gray has been sentenced to prison for producing child pornography and cyberstalking two teenage girls he met online. After the girls broke off communications with him, Gray coerced them into sending sexually explicit photos and videos, and then retaliated against them when they refused to send him more.
“Gray stalked and threatened his victims after they rebuffed his demands,” said U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine. “He terrorized these girls by threatening to post their photographs online if they did not comply. A jury has held Gray accountable for his inexcusable crimes, and he will now serve time in prison.”
“The facts of this case are disturbing but unfortunately all too common,” said Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta, Chris Hacker. “This sentencing sends a message to Gray and any other predators that the FBI will go to any length to bring child predators to justice. We would like to remind the community to remain vigilant with online relationships and to never send compromising images of yourself to anyone, no matter who they say they are.”
According to Acting U.S. Attorney Erskine, the charges and other information presented in court: Between May 2017 and November 2018, when he was arrested, Emanuel Gray targeted at least two teenage girls who he had met online through various social media apps, including Kik and Snapchat. While chatting online, the girls—who both testified at trial but did not know each other—sent sexually suggestive images and/or videos of themselves to Gray.
One of the victims, who was 14 at the time, testified after meeting Gray online they were in a “relationship” for a short time. After she decided to end the relationship, Gray harassed and threatened her until she sent more sexually explicit photos. Gray not only threatened her directly but attempted to “expose her” by posting explicit photos of her on her high school band's Facebook page. The other victim, who was 16 at the time, described being threatened and harassed by Gray in similar manner. Gray sent multiple messages to her high school band's Facebook page and created multiple fake Instagram accounts to “expose her” as well. Both girls also testified that Gray would instruct them on what to show and what to do, including demanding that they masturbate for him.
Emanuel Gray, 22, of Decatur, Georgia, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones to 20 years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release. Gray will also be required to register as a sex offender upon release from prison. He was charged with two counts of producing child pornography, two counts of cyberstalking, and one count of possession of child pornography. A federal jury convicted him of these charges on July 14, 2021.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Schulenburg, Texas and Villa Rica, Georgia Police Departments.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alex R. Sistla and L. Skye Davis, Deputy Chief of the Violent Crime & National Security Section, 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 November 17, 2021
Project Safe Childhood