LAKEWOOD, Ohio — A Lakewood man who posed as a 15-year-old girl on social media and received explicit photos of a minor before posting them to TikTok, pleaded guilty Monday to the distribution of child pornography, according to a news release from Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut.
Brian Grinnell, 36 of Lakewood, posed as a 15-year-old girl and met a girl who was under 12 years old on Omegle, an online website and mobile application that allows users to interact with strangers, according to the news release.
During their communication on the app, Grinnell and the minor started communicating on Snapchat where he told the minor victim to take sexually explicit photos and videos of herself and send them to him over Snapchat.
After she felt threatened by Grinnell, the girl unfriended and blocked him on Snapchat.
According to the news release, Grinnell found the minor’s friend on TikTok and stated that unless the girl contacted him, he would post a video of her naked on TikTok.
Grinnell then posted sexually explicit videos of the minor on TikTok. When a friend of the victim, who is also a minor, begged Grinnell not to post any additional videos, he said “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.”
It was at that time the victim’s friend said they would call police, to which he responded “How are they gonna find me?"
He then posted another video of the minor victim to TikTok.
Grinnell was later taken into custody and has been detained since his arrest on Sept. 23, 2020.
U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Connecticut, scheduled sentencing for July 19. He faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a maximum term of 20 years.
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