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Clinton County man sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for producing child porn

A Clinton County man this week received a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison for production of child pornography.

Michael S. Grenninger, 38, was sentenced by U.S. Middle District Judge Matthew W. Brann who said among the reasons for the long prison sentence was the need to protect children in the community.

Grenninger sexually abused an eight-year-old child and photographed the abuse, said acting U.S. Attorney Bruce D. Brandler.

Grenninger also produced videos of minors ranging from age eight through their early teens engaged in sexually explicit conduct, Brandler said.

Additionally, Grenninger attempted to arrange meetings with 11-year-old girls in Virginia and New York City for sex, and sent a pornographic image of himself over the internet, Brandler said.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the state police, the Clinton County District Attorney Office, and the Christiansburg, Virginia, Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey W. MacArthur prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the criminal division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and to identify and rescue victims.

The federal prison system has no early parole and the sentence is to be followed by 10 years of supervised release and he must pay $18,000 in restitution to three minor girls he victimized.

Grenninger’s house in Castanea Township was searched and officials found more than 150 videos of the sex with children.

Grenninger admitted in July 2017 to computer chats and to lewd exchanges with who he thought was a minor girl but who actually was an undercover state trooper in Virginia. A charge of molesting a minor was dismissed.

Grenninger was charged in 2019 by state police and those charges were dropped to pursue federal prosecution.

Grenninger pleaded guilty in February 2020 to a charge of production of child pornography.

When on supervised release Grenninger must register as a sex offender and have no contact with anyone under the age of 18 without permission, according to the court record.

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