• The 45-year-old South Carolina man was sentenced to 140 months in federal prison
  • He pleaded guilty to traveling to Georgia in 2019 to sexually exploit a minor
  • Authorities are still looking into related crimes in the case

A former teacher in Aiken County, South Carolina, has been sentenced to more than a decade in federal prison for sexually exploiting a minor from Georgia nearly three years ago, prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Jonathan Eugene Grantham, 45, received a 140-month prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia David H. Estes said in a statement.

Aside from his prison sentence, Grantham, of Graniteville, South Carolina, was also ordered by Judge J. Randall Hall to pay $50,000 in restitution, serve the rest of his life on supervised release and register as a sex offender following the completion of his prison term.

There is no parole in the federal system.

Authorities first started looking into Grantham while conducting a sex trafficking investigation on 36-year-old Michael Peyton Gunn. Gunn now faces a possible life sentence after he was convicted at trial on nine felony charges, which included sex trafficking of a child.

FBI agents discovered that Grantham traveled from South Carolina to Columbia County in Georgia in July 2019 to engage in "sexual activity" with a victim who was under the age of 18, according to prosecutors.

He later admitted to responding to an online advertisement that trafficked the victim and traveling to Evans, Georgia, to transport the minor to a motel in his home state for a sexual act in return for payment.

Grantham was arrested in February last year while he was still employed as a teacher at Ridge Spring-Monetta High School. He has since been terminated from his position.

"It is tremendously upsetting that someone in a position entrusted to care for our children was involved in taking advantage of and sexually exploiting a minor," Chris Hacker, special agent in charge of FBI Atlanta, was quoted as saying.

An FBI investigation into related crimes in the case is still ongoing, according to prosecutors.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara M. Lyons, who is also a coordinator at the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood anti-child exploitation initiative.

Representation. Jonathan Eugene Grantham was arrested in February last year while he was still employed as a teacher at Ridge Spring-Monetta High School in South Carolina. Pixabay