Taylor man pleads guilty to child porn

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR — A Taylor man will likely spend the rest of his life in prison after pleading guilty in federal court to child pornography charges, and prosecutors expected additional punishment to follow a circuit court trial scheduled for next month.

Bennie Ray Grimes, 67, will be sentenced in September on federal charges after pleading guilty July 14 to two counts of producing child pornography. Grimes will face a maximum penalty of 60 years in prison when sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds.

Still awaiting Grimes in lieu of a similar plea will be a jury trial in Wayne County Circuit Court, where he was charged with 35 counts of criminal sexual activities involving teen girls ages 13 to 15.

On July 18 Judge Gregory Bill issued a writ of habeas corpus after a final conference had been adjourned at the request of defense counsel. A final conference is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 11 before setting a date for a jury trial.

According to prosecutors and Taylor police, Grimes first was charged after a complaint was filed in April by a woman who said Grimes had sexually assaulted, photographed and videotaped three teen girls. Grimes had known the girls through relatives, and allegedly provided money, alcohol and marijuana in exchange for sexual activities.

A 14-year-old girl told police Grimes had been having sexual contact with her and other girls for several years. Three teen girls spoke with police regarding the allegations which they said started when the victims were as young as 8 years old.

Grimes was arrested at the Taylor police station while detectives were interviewing the first girl. He told police he was there to “investigate what was happening,” according to testimony supplied by Homeland Security Special Agent Daniel Ghareeb.

Grimes was arraigned first in district then circuit court on 15 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges, four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, seven counts of child sexually abusive commercial activities and five counts of using a computer to commit a crime.

First-degree criminal sexual conduct is punishable by up to life in prison.

Grimes was subsequently charged in U.S. District Court on federal charges of producing and possessing child pornography.

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

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