Lisbon photographer convicted of child porn blames 'emotional is - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Lisbon photographer convicted of child porn blames 'emotional issues'

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Dave Grunden Dave Grunden
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

The attorney for a Lisbon children's photographer convicted of soliciting men and children on camera is blaming "mental and emotional issues that ultimately channeled themselves in a horrific way."

The claim is made in a sentencing memorandum filed in federal court on behalf of 35-year-old David Grunden who is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday on charges of possessing child pornography, receiving depictions of minors engaged in sex, and advertising child pornography.

Grunden's attorney, Sam Amendolara, is seeking what he calls a "reasonable sentence," saying that his client can overcome his issues through mental health treatment and counseling.

Amendolara states in the memorandum that Grunden suffered from anxiety and depression and was unable to afford the medication needed for his treatment. 

The U.S. attorney is asking the court to hand down a sentence of 24 to years to reflect the seriousness of the crime and deter others from doing the same.

Following nine months of surveillance, federal agents raided Grunden's West Washington Street home last October, where he operated DCG Photography and lived with his parents.

Agents say they found 243 images and 97 videos involving child pornography and torture during their search.

The U.S. Attorney says that Grunden tried to solicit and entice children, as well as adult males to have sex with a child on videotape.

According to investigators, Grunden posted online ads for children under 12 years old to appear on video in what appeared to be acts of rape.

Investigators say, Grunden, who made a living taking photographs of children, had social media posts focusing heavily on girls under 18 years old.

According to the U.S. Attorney's sentencing memo, Grunden would use the photos in fantasy scenarios which he would trade over the internet.

Also, Grunden allegedly placed himself in close contact with children, dressing up as Santa Claus during the holidays and taking photographs with children as part of his business.

While Grunden denies having contact with the children for sexual gratification, government lawyers say his “interest in children is apparent.”

The U.S. Attorney says they are aware of the identities of some of Grunden's victims and restitution will be part of sentencing because of the Mandatory Restitution Victim's Act.

As part of his sentence, Grunden will have to register as a sex offender.

Grunden is scheduled to appear for sentencing before U.S. District Judge Benita Pearson in Youngstown at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

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