On Tuesday, July 25, 2017, Christopher David Grippe, 29, of Wartburg, was sentenced by the Honorable Thomas A. Varlan, Chief U.S. District Judge, to serve 280 months in federal prison for possession and distribution of child pornography.
Upon his release from prison, he will be under the supervision of the U.S Probation Office for life.
In January, 2017, Grippe pleaded guilty to charges included in a federal indictment.
His plea agreement, which is on file with U.S. District Court, contains detailed information regarding his offenses. According to that plea agreement, in August, 2016, an investigator with the Knoxville Police Department Internet Crimes Against Children taskforce (ICAC) received two Cybertips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) reporting that a Google account user attempted to upload files containing images of child sexual abuse.
The ensuing investigation revealed that the email address associated with the Google account belonged to Grippe. Additional NCMEC Cybertips revealed that Grippe had distributed images of child pornography using his Facebook account since April 2016.
Further investigation revealed that during the time of his most recent offenses, Grippe was incarcerated in a state prison, serving an eight–year sentence for his 2012 conviction of possessing images depicting minors engaged in sexual activity.
A search of his cell resulted in the confiscation of a phone, which he was actively using at the time of the search.
A forensic search of the content of the phone revealed 161 images and 38 videos of child sexual abuse. Some of the material involved children as young as infants.
Additionally, the forensic search revealed conversations regarding sexually abusing children that Grippe had with other individuals using a phone application called KIK messenger.
“Aggressive prosecution of individuals who victimize vulnerable, young children, will continue to be a top priority of the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said Nancy Stallard Harr, U.S. Attorney.
This case was investigated by the Knoxville Police Department ICAC. Assistant U.S. Attorney LaToyia T. Carpenter represented the United States.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.
For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.