Former Aiken County teacher admits guilt in child sexual exploitation investigation

Crime News

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – A former Aiken County teacher has admitted guilt in a case involving allegedly transporting a minor across state lines for sex.

45-year-old Jonathan Eugene Grantham is charged with Sex Trafficking of a Minor; Coercion and Enticement of a Minor to Engage in Sexual Activity; Travel with Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct; and Transportation with Intent to Engage in Criminal Sexual Activity.

Grantham could face a minimum of 10 years in prison as well as registering as a sex offender.

“It’s sickening to contemplate the fact that while Jonathan Grantham was serving as a high-school teacher, he was surreptitiously participating in the depraved sex trafficking of a child,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Estes. “This plea will hold him accountable for his crimes, while our diligent law enforcement partners continue their outstanding work to protect our most vulnerable citizens from such predation.”

At the time of his arrest in February, Grantham was employed as a teacher at Ridge Spring-Monetta High School in Ridge Spring, S.C. He later was terminated. 

Grantham reportedly popped up on the FBI’s radar while they were conducting a sex trafficking investigation involving other suspects.

Court documents state that Grantham allegedly picked up a minor in Columbia County, Georgia in July of 2019, and took the minor across state lines to engage in prostitution.

“Grantham targeted and manipulated a child for his own perverse enjoyment,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The FBI has zero tolerance for child predators, and we will continue to use any resources necessary to apprehend anyone who carries out these appalling crimes.”

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