Charlevoix Man Arrested, Out on Bond After Child Porn Investigation

Nearly a dozen electronic devices recovered from a Charlevoix man’s house.

They are all evidence in a child porn investigation.

Michigan State Police arrested 62-year-old Vern Grams on six counts of possession of child sexually abusive material, one count of distributing or promoting child sexually abusive activity, and one count of using a computer to commit a crime.

Grams is out on bond.

Police arrested him in Charlevoix on Tuesday after explicit images were traced back to his home through Microsoft SkyDrive.

9&10’s Caroline Powers and photojournalist Harrison Light spoke to investigators about how they pinpointed Grams.

“The top goal is to protect those children.”

More than 50 explicit images of children found on electronic devices.

“Three thumb drives, Garmin GPS device, old Polaroid type phone, and an iPhone,” says D/Lt. Wesley Smith, Michigan State Police Computer Crimes Unit/ICAC Task Force.

Michigan State Police say none of the victims were local.

“He had been doing it for some time,” says D/Lt. Smith. “A little bit of a concern with this particular case is the ages of the victims we saw. They were very young. The oldest being in the 11-12 year old range and the youngest being toddler age. So that takes its toll as well.”

Police began investigating Vern Grams last December after pornographic images were detected by Microsoft SkyDrive.

“It’s very easy to say, okay the evidence is on that computer, but putting somebody behind that keyboard doing that access, that’s where it’s a little bit more difficult and time consuming,” D/Lt. Smith says.

Team Zero at the Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center works to end child sexual abuse.

"We never want to hear these stories. We never want to know that this happens to children, but it is the reality,” says Team Zero community advocate, Hannah Rodriguez.

Team Zero says it’s important that parents know what kind of environment their child is in, whether that’s playing at a friend’s house, or what they’re doing online.

“We also want to know the same things about their online world,” says Rodriguez. “So what is happening online? What sites are they visiting? Where are they going? What do they have access to? What apps are on their phone? Those are really important questions to ask.”

“Save one child, one child from going through the horrific sexual assault, our job is done,” says D/Lt. Smith.

If convicted, Grams could face seven years in prison.