By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
TAYLOR — A Taylor man who last month pleaded guilty in federal court to child pornography charges will face up to life in prison after pleading guilty last week to three of 35 felony charges of criminal sexual activity.
Bennie Ray Grimes, 67, will be sentenced next month after pleading guilty on Tuesday to three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, two of which involved a victim under the age of 13. More than 30 additional charges were dismissed by Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Gregory D. Bill during a final conference.
First-degree criminal sexual conduct is punishable by up to life in prison.
Grimes will be sentenced in Wayne County Circuit Court on Sept. 15 for the first-degree CSC charges.
Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Maria Miller said a sentencing agreement was reached for a minimum of 20 years and maximum of 50 yeas in prison.
Grimes will also be sentenced next month in federal court by U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds after pleading guilty in July to two counts of producing child pornography, which carries a maximum penalty of 60 years in prison.
Grimes has been in custody since April, when he went to the Taylor police station while detectives were interviewing a 14-year-old girl who had been brought in to file a complaint. According to prosecutors and Taylor police, Grimes had sexually assaulted, photographed and videotaped three teen girls, activities that had been going on for several years.
Grimes had met the girls through relatives and had provided them with money, alcohol and marijuana in exchange for sexual activities that began when the victims were as young as 8 years old.
Along with statements from the victims, evidence submitted to courts included “a stack of photographs” that depicted sexual acts involving up to four girls and Grimes. A search of Grimes’ home on Beech Daly Road resulted in the discovery of sex toys, photographs and videos stored on a computer.
Grimes was charged first on April 11 in Taylor’s 23rd District Court on 35 counts including 15 charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, seven counts of child sexually abusive commercial activities and five counts of using a computer to commit a crime.
Grimes was subsequently charged in June on federal charges of producing and possessing child pornography, which he pleaded guilty to last month.
(James Mitchell can be reached at [email protected].)