AUGUSTA, GA: A federal grand jury has indicted a teacher in Graniteville, SC, on additional federal charges related to the initial allegation that he transported a minor across state lines for sex.
Jonathan Eugene Grantham, 45, of Graniteville, SC, is charged in a four-count indictment of sexual trafficking in minors. Coercion and seduction of a minor into sexual activities; Travel with the intent to engage in illegal sexual activity; and transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, said David H. Estes, acting US attorney for the southern district of Georgia. The sex trafficking charge provides for a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence for life in prison. There is no parole in the federal system.
“Protecting innocent and vulnerable children is paramount to our office,” said acting US attorney Estes. “We applaud the hard work of the FBI agents in carefully investigating these difficult cases.”
At the time of his arrest in February, Grantham was teaching at Ridge Spring-Monetta High School in Ridge Spring, SC. A U.S. District Court grand jury this week returned the indictment with the additional charges.
Grantham is alleged to knowingly apprehended a minor in Columbia County and brought the minor into prostitution across state lines on or about July 20, 2019. The indictment alleges that Grantham “recruited, enticed, housed, transported, deployed, procured, entertained, patronized, and in some way solicited and influenced Minor Victim 1, knowing and influencing the fact that Minor Victim is ruthlessly disregarded I was under 18 and this little victim 1 was being tricked into engaging in a commercial sex act. “
Grantham remains in federal custody.
“It is extremely disheartening that these allegations are directed against a teacher whom parents trusted their focus on the well-being of their children,” said Chris Hacker, FBI Atlanta special agent. “These additional costs are the result of diligent FBI investigators working to protect our children.”
An indictment contains only accusations; Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case is being investigated by the FBI and is being pursued for the United States by Assistant Attorney Tania G. Groover and Project Safe Childhood Coordinator Tara M. Lyons