36-Year-Old Man Who Posed as 15-Year-Old Girl Pleads Guilty to Distribution of Child Pornography

A 36-year-old man indicted in Sept 2020 for posting nude videos of a New Canaan girl on a popular video-sharing service pleaded guilty Monday to distribution of child pornography, according to the US Department of Justice . 

Brian Grinnell of Lakewood, Ohio, faces five to 20 years in prison and will be sentenced in July, according to a release from the Connecticut District of the US Attorney’s Office.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in March 2020, Grinnell posed as a 15-year-old girl and met a female, who at the time was under the age of 12, on Omegle, an online chat website and mobile application that allows users to interact with strangers. 

Shortly thereafter, Grinnell began communicating with the minor victim on Snapchat. 

Grinnell told the girl to take sexually explicit photos and videos of herself and send them to Grinnell over Snapchat.  After the minor victim began to feel threatened by Grinnell, she unfriended and blocked Grinnell’s account.

Grinnell subsequently contacted a friend of the minor victim on TikTok and stated that unless she got in touch with him, he would post a video of her naked on TikTok. 

Grinnell then posted sexually explicit videos of the minor victim on TikTok.  When a friend of the minor victim, who is also a minor, begged Grinnell not to post additional videos of the minor victim, Grinnell stated, “I want a video of you begging me to not put them up. And you have to be topless in the video. If you don’t want any more of your friend stuff going out.” 

After the friend told Grinnell that they would call the police, Grinnell responded “How are they gonna find me?”  Grinnell then proceeded to post another video of the minor victim on TikTok.

Grinnell has been detained since his arrest on September 23, 2020.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 19 at which time Grinnell faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI and the New Canaan Police Department.

For information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.