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Navy reservist charged with 12 sex crimes against children as far back as 1993

St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell said his office's investigation began when one of the three victims wrote a letter to his office in January 2020

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — A man was charged with 12 sex crimes related to incidents that occurred in St. Louis County dating back as far as 1993 and as recently as 2003, St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell said in a news conference Wednesday.

Ephriam Granderson, 52, was charged with 12 crimes including rape, sodomy, statutory rape and statutory sodomy in connection with alleged crimes against three victims over the span of 10 years. Bell said Granderson — a US Navy Reservist — was taken into custody at an Atlanta airport by the US Marshals Service after getting off a flight from South Korea, where he was stationed.

Bell said they are aware of three victims, all of whom were girls between the ages of 9 and 16 at the time of the alleged crimes.

According to charging documents, Granderson had sex with each of the girls on multiple occasions.

During the news conference, Bell said his office's investigation began when one of the three victims wrote a letter to his office in January 2020. 

"It started with a letter that this individual wrote to our office, and our chief investigator brought that letter to me and we decided that we wanted to look further into it," Bell said. "We thought that it warranted a second look."

Credit: St. Louis County Prosecutor's Office
Ephriam Granderson is charged with 16 sex crimes after the St. Louis County prosecutor said he had sex with four girls from 1993 to 2003.

Bell said there was contact with the county prosecutor's office at around the time of the incidents, but charges were not filed. Bell said he did not know why that decision was made, but he is intent on moving forward with the case now.

"There's nothing to suggest that the wrong call was made," Bell said. "From what I understand, it likely was an evidentiary problem, victims who didn't feel comfortable, and keep in mind at that time, we're talking victims who might have been children.

"We're here now. We have the evidence to move forward and that's what we're gonna do."

Granderson was arrested Wednesday afternoon on the charges by the U.S. Marshals Service at an airport in Atlanta after he got off a flight from South Korea. Granderson was a Navy Reservist returning from service when he was taken into custody without incident.

Bell said Granderson was still in Atlanta at the time of the Wednesday evening news conference, but he was expected to be brought back to St. Louis County to face the charges.

Bell said his office was not aware of any other victims, but said anyone who might have been victimized by Granderson should contact the prosecutor's office.

In all, Granderson was charged with two counts of first-degree statutory rape, four counts of first-degree statutory sodomy, four counts of second-degree statutory sodomy, one count of rape and one count of sodomy. All 12 of the counts are felonies.