Lakewood man who posted explicit pictures of 12-year-old on TikTok pleads guilty to federal charges

Lakewood man who posted explicit pictures of 12-year-old on TikTok pleads guilty to federal charges
FILE - In this Thursday, April 18, 2019 file photo, a sign for the Department of Justice hangs in the press briefing room at the Justice Department, in Washington. (Source: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A Lakewood man pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges of the distribution of child pornography.

Brian Grinnell, 36, was posing as a 15-year-old girl on the Omegle - a chat website and app that allows users to interact with strangers - when he met another little girl, according to a media release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

He began communicating with this 12-year-old child on Snapchat where he encouraged her to take sexually explicit pictures and videos of herself and send them to him, according to the release.

The girl felt threatened and unfriended Grinnell and blocked him.

Grinnell then contacted a friend of the 12-year-old on TikTok told her that unless her friend got in touch with him, he’d post a video of the 12-year-old naked on TikTok, the release said.

Grinnell did post sexually explicit videos of the little girl on TikTok.

When her friend begged him not to post any more content, he threatened her too, according to the DOJ.

“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,” he stated.

When the friend told him they would contact authorities, Grinnell responded: “How are they gonna find me?” and posted another video of the minor victim on TikTok, the DOJ said.

He was arrested on September 23, 2020 and has been jailed since.

Grinnell will be sentenced on July 19, according to the DOJ. He faces a minimum of five years in prison and a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

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