Raleigh woman who helped husband sexually exploit child sentenced

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A Raleigh woman was sentenced to five years in prison for possession of child pornography, according to the United States Attorney’s Office Eastern District of North Carolina.

Kellie Michelle Smith, 43, pled guilty to a single-count Criminal Information on June 22.   

Court records and statements made during hearings in October 2018 showed the Cary Police Department was investigating online child pornography distribution. During that investigation, the department was able to track down an IP address associated with Stephan Grimes, Smith’s ex-husband.

Investigators said the device associated with Grimes and his IP address contained images of child pornography.

A search warrant was executed on February 20, 2019.  The United States Attorney’s Office said Grimes admitted to downloading child pornography during a police interview.

At his home, law enforcement found explicit images of a young girl on a computer. Grimes told police she was 18 years old, but investigators later learned she was a minor.

Grimes said Smith was present when the photos were taken. Surveillance cameras were found in the living room and bedroom.

Agents believed the cameras were used to capture the images of the girl. Additionally, a computer, hard drives, and a USB drive were siezed from Grimes’ home.

When law enforcement interviewed the girl from the images, she old them she met Grimes when she was 16.  Then, a majority of the images showing her were taken when she was 17.

The victim told police Grimes made sexual advances toward her that eventually lead him capturing the explicit images of her.

The United States Attorney’s Office said they had photo evidence to show that Smith was involved in some sexual encounters with the minor.

In all, forensic investigators found five videos and more than 400 images of child sexual abuse material. Some of those videos were captures using the dual wall-mounted cameras “with a simultaneous view in split screen”. 

Grimes pled guilty on Sept. 14 to one count of manufacture of child pornography. His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 2022. 

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