#cyberbullying | #cyberbully | Ohio man pleads not guilty in Fairfield County child pornography case



STAMFORD — An Ohio man accused earlier this month with posting sexually explicit videos of an 11-year-old girl from Fairfield County on TikTok pleaded not guilty to a distribution of child pornography charge during a hearing before a federal judge last week.


Brian Grinnell, 35, of Lakeview, Ohio, made the televised plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Spector during a hearing carried on Zoom Tuesday, as his attorneys Hugh Keefe and Matt Popilowski looked on from a different location.



After the hearing, Keefe said his client is currently being incarcerated at the federal Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, Rhode Island.


Keefe said he was hopeful, considering there is a coronavirus outbreak at Wyatt, that his client would be released from custody.




“I expect he will be let out. He is not violent and he’s not going to take off,” Keefe said.


When asked about the allegations against Grinnell, Keefe said he was unable to comment because he had only met his client.


Grinnell was arrested on Sept. 23 after police notified the FBI that someone allegedly had posted videos of the girl on Tik Tok.


According to a detailed 21-page arrest affidavit by FBI Special Agent Michael Syrax, police were called to the girl’s home on March 21, on the report of nude photos and videos being posted of the complainant’s daughter on social media.



During an interview with an FBI child forensic interviewer, the girl said she met a person, who she thought was a 15-year-old girl, on an online chat webside called Omegle. In continuing conversations on Snapchat the person began asking her for pictures of “weird stuff” including pictures of her body, according to the affidavit.



The person sent the girl a picture of a female wearing underwear, apparently in an effort to keep up the facade, according to the affidavit.


But by March 20 the girl began to get worried and felt threatened and unfriended the account from all social media.


Nude images and videos of the girl then began being posted, the affidavit said.


Police were able to get information from Snapchat about where the “older girl” — who went by the name Alexisswimmer99 — was posting from and officers along with FBI agents traced the account to an internet protocol address in Lakewood, Ohio, the affidavit said.



The authorities were then able to trace the TikTok posts to a cell phone belonging to Grinnell, the affidavit said.


When an officer told Grinnell he was investigating a cyberbullying case from Connecticut, Grinnell denied knowing anything about it, the affidavit said.



jnickerson@stamfordadvocate.com


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