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Press Release

Grand Haven Man Sentenced To 27 Years For Child Exploitation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Michigan

Man sexually assaulted and exploited 4-year-old child

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten today announced that Brian Ray Stefono, 55, from Grand Haven, Michigan, was sentenced to serve 27 years in prison for the sexual assault and exploitation of a 4-year-old child.  After his release from prison, Stefono will serve 10 years of supervised release.                    

          “Brian Stefono committed horrific crimes against children and will spend the next 27 years in prison because of it,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “I’m grateful for our partners in the private sector who help report these crimes and for our partners in law enforcement who help investigate them. We urge anyone aware of child exploitation to contact law enforcement and we commit to doing everything we can to protect these victims.”        

          Stefono pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the child on multiple occasions in a residence in Grand Haven. He produced multiple videos that depicted the sexual assaults. The victim was approximately 4 years old at the time.  Stefono came to the attention of law enforcement after a cloud-storage provider discovered videos in Stefono’s accounts that depicted sexual assaults of very young children. Michigan State Police and Homeland Security Investigations executed a search warrant on Stefono’s home and uncovered his collection of child pornography—including the self-produced exploitative content.

          “Our children and our communities are safer with this predator behind bars,” said HSI Detroit Acting Special Agent in Charge Jared Murphey. “Through law enforcement partnerships and the vigilance of private industry, we can help hold these offenders accountable and deliver justice for the victims of these heinous crimes.”

          This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, county prosecutor's offices, the Internet Crimes Against Children task force (ICAC), federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children. The partners in Project Safe Childhood work to educate local communities about the dangers of online child exploitation, and to teach children how to protect themselves. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit the following web site:  Individuals with information or concerns about possible child exploitation should contact local law enforcement officials.

          This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Mekaru and investigated by Michigan State Police ICAC taskforce and Homeland Security Investigations.  


Updated May 20, 2024

Project Safe Childhood