Twice-convicted sex offender pleads guilty to abusing five children between 2007 and 2020

Project Safe Childhood is a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.

Baltimore, Maryland: Garnell Eugene Graves, age 58, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty Tuesday, June 14, 2022 to four counts of sexual exploitation of a child in relation to the sexual abuse of five minor victims.

 

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, and Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department.

 

“Not only did Graves inflict abuse on generations of victims, molest minor victims, and sexually abuse children for over a decade, but he also threatened to sexually abuse other children if the victims attempted to end the cycle of abuse,” said U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland, Erek L. Barron. “Our office will continue to obtain justice for child abuse survivors and actively prosecute predators who abuse the most vulnerable among us.”

 

"Mr. Graves displayed horrific and disturbing behavior victimizing innocent children over and over again," said Thomas J. Sobocinski, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Baltimore Field Office. "The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to do everything in our power to hold perpetrators accountable and to protect others from harm."

 

According to his guilty plea, from 2007 to 2020, Graves sexually abused five minors between the ages of 6 and 13 years old.  Beginning in 2007, Graves frequently sexually abused Minor Victim 1 and continued to sexually abuse Minor Victim 1 until she was 13 years old.  When Minor Victim 1 was approximately 8 and 9 years old, Graves showed Minor Victim 1 and Minor Victim 1’s friend adult pornography and asked the two children to participate in sex acts like those conducted in the video with him.  Over the course of several years, Graves engaged in oral and vaginal sex with Minor Victim 1 and, in some instances, Graves recorded the sexual encounters.  At times, Graves showed Minor Victim 1 the videos of the abuse.  Graves also often gave Minor Victim 1 gifts, including a smartphone, in exchange for her “forgiveness” and to encourage her not to inform her mother.

 

Additionally, Graves placed a hidden camera in Minor Victim 1’s bedroom and recorded videos of Minor Victim 1 in various stages of undress.  Approximately 10 videos of this conduct were located on Graves’ digital devices.

 

Graves sexually abused Minor Victim 2 when Minor Victim 2 was 12-years-old.  On three occasions, Graves photographed himself sexually abusing Minor Victim 2, who appeared to be sleeping at the time of the abuse.  The images were located on Graves’ digital devices.

 

Similar to his conduct with Minor Victim 1, Graves showed pornography to Minor Victim 3 and Minor Victim 4 on a social media platform and told the victims of his desire to do the same conduct with them.

 

Graves sexually abused Minor Victim 3 from age 6 through age 13.  In at least one instance during an interaction with Minor Victim 3, Graves told Minor Victim 3 that they would get married and have children in the future.  Graves also showed Minor Victim 3 pictures of him and Minor Victim 1 engaging in sex acts when Minor Victim 1 was a minor.  In order to conceal his conduct and prevent Minor Victim 3 from disclosing Graves’ abuse to others, Graves provided Minor Victim 3 with food, money, and other gifts.  After Minor Victim 3 tried to end the abuse, Graves threatened Minor Victim 3 by telling her that if she stopped, he would abuse Minor Victim 5.  Graves’ abuse of Minor Victim 3 included oral, vaginal, and anal sex.

 

On at least 11 instances between 2014 and 2017, Graves sexually abused Minor Victim 3 and produced videos and images of that abuse.  The videos and images were located on Graves’ digital devices.

 

Graves sexually abused Minor Victim 4 when she was between 9 and 10-years old.  In 2017, Graves produced ten images Minor Victim 4 laying on a bed with her genitals exposed.  The images were located on Graves’ digital devices.

 

When Minor Victim 5 was approximately 6 or 7 years old, Graves entered the room where she was sleeping and took her to another room.  Graves proceeded to sexually abuse Minor Victim 5 by rubbing his genitals on Minor Victim 5’s genitals.  After the encounter, Graves instructed the Minor Victim 5 not to tell anyone.

 

In 1991, Graves was convicted of taking indecent liberties with a minor child in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. It can not be determined from court records whether or not Graves was required to register as a sex offender following this conviction.

 

Additionally, in 1998, Graves was convicted of sexual offense in the third-degree in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County, Maryland.

 

Graves faces a mandatory minimum of 25 years and maximum of 50 years in federal prison for each of the four counts of sexual exploitation of a child followed up by up to a lifetime of supervised release.  U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar has scheduled sentencing for February 7, 2023, at 10:00 a.m.

 

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.  For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the "Resources" tab on the left of the page.

 

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the FBI, the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office, and the BPD for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul E. Budlow, who is prosecuting the case.