Grand Decatur, Georgia – A man from the Grand Decatur will spend 20 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of producing images of child abuse and cyberstalking of his victims.
âEmanuel Gray was sentenced to jail for producing child pornography and online harassment of two teenage girls he met online,â the US prosecutor’s office said in a press release. “After the girls cut off communications with him, Gray coerced them into sending sexually explicit photos and videos, then hit back against them when they refused to send him any more.”
Gray, 22, was 19 when he committed the offenses. His victims were 14 and 16 years old.
The 14-year-old said they met Gray online and are in a relationship.
âAfter deciding to end the relationship, Gray harassed and threatened her until she sent more sexually explicit photos. Gray not only threatened her directly, but also attempted to ‘expose her. “By posting explicit photos of her on her high school group’s Facebook page,” the US attorney’s office said. âThe other victim, who was 16 at the time, described being threatened and harassed by Gray in the same way. Gray sent several messages to his high school group’s Facebook page and set up several fake Instagram accounts to “expose” him as well.
Gray’s 20-year prison sentence will be followed by five years of supervised release, and he will have to register as a sex offender. He was convicted of two counts of producing child pornography, two counts of cyberstalking and one count of possession of child pornography. A federal jury found him guilty of these charges on July 14, 2021.
His lawyers asked the judge for the mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years. They noted that he was 19 at the time and said he was “living the life of a teenager” when he committed the crimes.
“Sir. Gray’s behavior is partly due to the fact that his intellectual functioning is bordering on impairment and his academic functioning is at the 4th year (9 or 10 years) level,” argued his lawyers. Another factor is that he doesn’t have real friends to interact with socially. Indeed, Mr. Gray’s sister wrote: âFamily and friends joked and bullied him that he was a certain age but was so mentally and emotionally retarded.
His lawyers have argued that he adopted an online bully persona in response to his bullying.
âIn the context of Mr. Gray’s immaturity, a 15-year sentence is more than reasonable to punish him,â his lawyers said.
The judge disagreed and prosecutors supported the sentence.
“Gray harassed and threatened his victims after they rejected his demands,” US Attorney Kurt R. Erskine said in the press release. âHe terrorized these girls by threatening them to post their photos online if they didn’t comply. A jury has held Gray responsible for his inexcusable crimes, and he will now serve a prison sentence. “
FBI Atlanta Special Agent Chris Hacker said in the press release that these types of crimes “are disturbing but unfortunately all too common.”
“This conviction sends a message to Gray and all the other predators that the FBI will do everything possible to bring child predators to justice,” Hacker said. “We would like to remind the community to remain vigilant with online relationships and never send compromising images of yourself to anyone, no matter who they claim to be.”
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