Taylor man faces local, federal charges for sexual crimes with teens

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR — A Taylor man who was charged last month with three dozen counts of sexual crimes involving teen girls has been further charged in U.S. District Court with production and possession of child pornography.

Bennie Ray Grimes, 67, faces up to life in prison if found guilty in Wayne County Circuit Court of any of the 15 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges. Last month Grimes waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Taylor’s 23rd District Court, and last week appeared before Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Gregory Bill for a pre-trial hearing.

The federal charges alleged that Grimes produced pornographic materials involving up to four girls, ages 13 to 15, in his Taylor home on Beech Daly Road. Grimes may enter a guilty plea to those charges next month, according to U.S. District Court Information Officer Rod Hansen.

Grimes was originally charged in a complaint filed with that court in April, and was charged by the U.S. Attorney’s office in “an information” hearing held last month before Judge Nancy Edmunds.

“This is almost always a precursor to a guilty plea,” Hansen said. A hearing plea date is scheduled for July 7; Hansen said that if a plea is entered a sentencing date would be set during that hearing.

Grimes remained in custody without bond.

Allegations were first raised in April when a woman told police that she suspected Grimes was sexually abusing three minors whom he met through a relative. According to an affidavit by U.S. District Court by Homeland Security Special Agent Daniel Ghareeb, the woman said she had been at Grimes’ home in August or September 2013 with one of the young victims, who showed the woman “a stack of photographs that depicted” the alleged acts and featured Grimes and three young girls.

According to the affidavit, the girl told the woman that Grimes provided the girls money, alcohol and marijuana. When interviewed by police, the 14-year-old girl said Grimes had been having sexual contact with her and other girls, “over the past few years,” during which time he took photos and videos of the girls naked and performing sexual acts.

Grimes was arrested at the Taylor Police station on April 8 while the girls were being interviewed.

“He told officers he was there to investigate what was happening,” Ghareeb said.

According to the affidavit, Grimes acknowledged that the victims had “repeatedly spent the night” at his home, and said that “all contents of the home belonged to him.”

A search of the home following Grimes’ arrest resulted in the discovery of sex toys and videos on a computer, resulting in warrants for the manufacture and possession of child pornography.

In Circuit Court Grimes was charged last month with 15 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct — punishable by life in prison — along with four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, seven counts of child sexually abusive commercial activity and five counts of using a computer to commit a crime.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)

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