On Feb. 19, Jesse Colton Grimes, 19, of Sugar Grove, was convicted of eleven counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and three counts of extortion.
In 2014 and 2015, Grimes befriended several adolescent girls on social media websites. During the course of their online relationships, Grimes encouraged the underage girls to produce sexually explicit photographs and videos. After they complied, Grimes sometimes distributed the material to others. When the girls refused to produce additional material for Grimes, he threatened to publicize previously sent photographs and videos to his friends or the victims’ friends and family.
The Honorable Alan Z. Thornburg sentenced Grimes to a minimum of 5 years to a maximum of 11 years in prison. Upon his release, Grimes will be placed on supervised probation and be required to register as a sex offender.
“This case offers a stark reminder that there are predators who will use social media to extort and to take advantage of young and vulnerable children,” District Attorney Seth Banks said in a statement. “My office will continue to seek justice for those who would use technology to prey on the most defenseless in our society. I would like to thank Assistant District Attorney Matt Rupp for his work on this case. I would also like to commend Detective Kevin Wilson of the Boone Police Department and the State Bureau of Investigation for their work in bringing Jesse Colton Grimes to justice.”