A former teacher in South Carolina has admitted to contacting a Georgia girl who was under 18 with the intention of engaging in sexual activity, federal prosecutors said.
Jonathan Eugene Grantham, of Graniteville, South Carolina, pleaded guilty Wednesday to coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity, federal prosecutors said in a news release. When he was arrested in February, he was a teacher at Ridge Spring-Monetta High School in Ridge Spring, S.C. He has since been fired.
“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,” Acting U.S. Attorney David Estes said in the release. “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.”
During a sex trafficking investigation into other people, FBI agents discovered that Grantham, 45, had traveled from South Carolina to Columbia County, Georgia, in July 2019 to engage in sexual activity with the girl after contacting her online, prosecutors said.
Grantham faces a sentence of at least 10 years and up to life in prison, as well as substantial financial penalties and restitution, the release says. He also must register as a sex offender and serve at least five years of supervised release once he’s out of prison.