JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Ponte Vedra Beach man has plead guilty to distributing videos depicting young children being sexually abused, the Department of Justice said on Tuesday.
George Thomas Griffiths Jr., 42, faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a lifetime of parole. His sentencing date has not been set, at this time. Griffiths is a radiology technician who was living in Ponte Vedra.
An FBI task force started an undercover online investigation into a social media app in an effort to identify child predators. Officials identified a user called “ban_me_again" who was later identified as Griffiths. He allegedly uploaded multiple videos that showed children and infants being sexually abused, court documents said.
The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office received a tip that the same app had reported “ban_me_again" during the same time period. It was revealed during further investigation that Griffiths allegedly distributed the videos over the internet from his Ponte Vedra Beach home as well as his place of employment. At the time, Griffiths was working as an x-ray technologist.
Further examination of Griffiths’ iPhone revealed that it contained at least 2,000 photos and at least 10 videos depicting children being sexually abused, including infants and toddler-aged children. While being questioned, Griffiths admitted to distributing child sexual abuse images “more than one or two" times. He said the materials he exchanged "possibly" showed “bestiality” involving both adults and children, court documents said.
The case was investigated by the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Homeland Security Investigations, with the assistance of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.