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American gets 50 years for sexually abusing Filipino girls

A US Navy ship contractor has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for sexually abusing Filipino girls, according to US Attorney Ryan Buchanan.

Stephen Gordon Grimes, 51, of Lompoc, California, has been sentenced for producing child pornography overseas and transporting the material to the United States. 

Over the course of three years, he recorded videos of his sexual abuse of girls as young as four years old, Buchanan said in a statement.

According to the US official, Grimes exploited poverty in the Philippines to gain access to multiple young girls.

"He sexually abused these children for multiple years and recorded the crimes," Buchanan said. "His sentence rightly reflects the harm that he inflicted on these children."

Based on the charges and court information, Grimes in 2009 met two Filipino women in an online chat room. These women, who were sisters, agreed to arrange for Grimes to sexually exploit young girls in the Philippines, including the children of one of the women.

Grimes worked as a civilian contractor on a Navy ship and often traveled to the Philippines at the end of each contract. He paid one of the women $500 a month to gain exclusive access to his child victims while he was in the Philippines.

Beginning no later than February 2016 and continuing until May 2019, Grimes used a camera device to record his sexual abuse of Filipino girls between the ages of four and 13 years. He also used a cell phone camera to record his sexual assault of the girls.

On September 29, 2020, special agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) confiscated Grimes' computers, cell phone and other electronic devices when he arrived at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta  

A subsequent analysis of the items revealed that he had produced 340 videos and 650 images of his abuse of Filipino girls.

The analysis of his computer also showed that he downloaded 523 videos and 4,470 images of child pornography from the internet.

Following Grimes' arrest, HSI special agents undertook an operation that led to the rescue of the girls whom he had exploited and resulted in the local prosecution of the two women who conspired with Grimes.

Grimes has been sentenced to 50 years in prison to be followed by a lifetime term of supervised release. Parole does not exist in the federal prison system. —Dave Llavanes Jr./KBK, GMA Integrated News