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Press Release

Federal Judge Sentences Mint Hill Man To 30 Years In Prison For Sexual Exploitation Of A Minor

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

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Today, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad Jr. sentenced Brandon Grunwald, 47, of Mint Hill, N.C., to 360 months in prison for sexual exploitation of a minor, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Upon release from custody, Grunwaldt will also be placed on supervised release for 20 years and will be required to register with the Sex Offender Registry Board in any state or jurisdiction where he works or resides.

Ronnie Martinez, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in North Carolina and South Carolina, and Chief Joseph Hatley of the Mint Hill Police Department join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

According to filed court documents, trial evidence, and today’s sentencing hearing, between February 16 and October 31, 2020, Grunwaldt secretly recorded a minor on five different occasions while the minor was undressing and showering. The Mint Hill Police Department initiated an investigation into Grunwaldt after the minor reported discovering a cell phone hidden in the bathroom recording the minor while using the shower. Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement seized Grunwaldt’s cell phones and other electronic devices. A forensic analysis of the devices by Homeland Security Investigations revealed that Grunwaldt created and possessed five videos that depicted the minor using the shower and undressing. Law enforcement also determined that Grunwaldt frequently visited a website with pornographic videos similar to those he made. On February 15, 2022, a federal jury convicted Grunwaldt of five counts of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

In announcing today’s sentence, Judge Conrad said that Grunwaldt’ s offense involved some of the most vile and disturbing conduct he has seen.

Grunwaldt is currently in federal custody. He will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.

In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King commended HSI and the Mint Hill Police Department for their investigation of the case.

Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie Spaugh, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit



Updated March 20, 2023

Project Safe Childhood