#minorsextrafficking | Child sexual exploitation suspect faced prior rape charge

COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WTVF) — One of the suspects in a child sex trafficking case in Maury County had a prior conviction related to a rape.

Clinton Gransden and Michelle Klen are accused of leading a child sexual exploitation ring. Authorities said the Mount Pleasant residents targeted multiple children in the mid-state and recorded their actions and electronically distributed them. They said some of the images were seen through popular social media platforms.

The images seized showed multiple children, some of whom have yet to be identified, according to the Maury County Sheriff’s Office.

According to criminal court records, Gransden faced multiple charges in Maury County including domestic assault, harassment and assault of an officer. In 2015, he was indicted for criminal responsibility for statutory rape but later pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of facilitation of statutory rape, a Class A Misdemeanor.

Last June, Gransden and Klen were arrested for especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor. The case was bound over to the grand jury.

Officials want to learn more information about potential victims and has asked anyone to call the department at 931-388-5151 X 1 or the Homeland Security Investigations hotline at 866-347-2423. Victims could be in Middle Tennessee or surrounding states.

The recent news came a few weeks after 11 men were arrested in an undercover human trafficking sting in Spring Hill.

“I’m not surprised but horrified. My heart immediately breaks for the children who were victimized in this particular way,” End Slavery Tennessee CEO Margie Quin told NewsChannel 5.

Quin worked similar cases for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for more than 20 years. She said perpetrators tend to put themselves in a position where they have access to children. Her main concern is helping find potential victims.

“If there are additional children who are being abused or have been abused in middle Tennessee, it is imperative that we identify those children immediately and make them safe,” Quin said.

Quin encourages parents to maintain open communication with their children all the time. Red flags to look out for are changes in behavior, health and medical histories. To learn more, click on this link.

Information about human trafficking and TBI’s efforts to address this type of crime can be found online at www.ITHasToStop.com.


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