Reno, Nevada - A former employee at a Lake Tahoe children's ski school was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison for child sexual exploitation, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Steven W. Myhre for the District of Nevada.
Stephan L. DeGraffenreid, 27, of Gardnerville, Nevada, pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a minor and two counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor. United States District Judge Howard D. McKibben also sentenced DeGraffenreid to lifetime supervised release.
According to the criminal complaint and plea agreement, law enforcement discovered child pornography on an Apple iPod Touch that was found at the Children's Ski School at Heavenly Ski Resort. During the investigation, it was discovered the iPod belonged to DeGraffenreid who was a former employee at the ski school. During the execution of a search warrant at DeGraffenreid's residence, officers with the Northern Nevada Online Child Exploitation Task Force located a thumb drive that contained explicit images of children in a childcare facility restroom in Gardnerville. DeGraffenreid admitted to taking the sexually explicit photos of the children found on the thumb drive.
The case was investigated by the Northern Nevada Child Exploitation Task Force, which is comprised of members of the FBI, the Reno Police Department, the Washoe County Sheriff's Office, and the Nevada Attorney General's Office. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office and the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office also assisted with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Shannon M. Bryant prosecuted the case.
To report child sexual exploitation, contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or the FBI's Las Vegas Office at (702) 385-1281.
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 United States 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. For more information about Project Safe Childhood and for information about internet safety education, visit www.usdoj.gov/psc .