BALTIMORE - A previously convicted sex offender pleaded guilty Tuesday to the sexual abuse and exploitation of children in a disturbing series of incidents that began in 2007 and went undiscovered for more than a decade.
Garnell Eugene Graves, 58, of Baltimore pleaded guilty Tuesday to four counts of sexual exploitation of a child in relation to the sexual abuse of five minors.
According to his guilty plea, from 2007 to 2020, Graves sexually abused five children between the ages of 6 and 13-years-old.
Graves began abusing his first victim when she was around 8-years-old until she was 13, according to the Maryland U.S. Attorney's Office. During that time Graves showed the girl pornography, engaged in sex with her and recorded many of their encounters. He also gave the girl gifts, including a smartphone, in exchange for her "forgiveness" and to encourage her not to tell her mother, court documents say.
His second victim was about 12-years-old when the abuse began, officials stated, adding that Graves photographed several of their sexual encounters over the years.
He abused his third victim from the age of six through 13, court officials say, adding he gave the girl gifts to help conceal his conduct and threatened to abuse other children if her sexual encounters with him were ended. Graves also told the girl the two would get married and have children together. Like the other victims, officials say Graves recorded videos and images of the abuse.
Graves sexually abused a fourth victim when she was between nine and 10-years-old, officials say, adding he recorded images of the abuse on digital devices.
A fifth victim was approximately 6-years-old, when court documents say Graves sexually abused her.
"Not only did Graves inflict abuse on generations of victims, molest minor victims, and sexually abuse children for over a decade, but he also threatened to sexually abuse other children if the victims attempted to end the cycle of abuse," said U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland, Erek L. Barron in a statement. "Our office will continue to obtain justice for child abuse survivors and actively prosecute predators who abuse the most vulnerable among us."
"Mr. Graves displayed horrific and disturbing behavior victimizing innocent children over and over again," said Thomas J. Sobocinski, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Baltimore Field Office in a statement. "The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to do everything in our power to hold perpetrators accountable and to protect others from harm."
Graves was convicted in 1991 of taking indecent liberties with a minor child in D.C. Additionally, in 1998, Graves was convicted on a sexual offense charge in Prince George's County.
He faces a mandatory minimum of 25 years and maximum of 50 years in federal prison for each of the four counts of sexual exploitation of a child followed by a lifetime of supervised release.
His sentencing is scheduled for February 7, 2023.