Heavenly children’s ski school employee charged with exploitation and possession of child pornography | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Heavenly children’s ski school employee charged with exploitation and possession of child pornography

An employee with Heavenly Mountain Resort children's ski school was charged Wednesday with child exploitation and possession of child pornography, the U.S. Attorney District of Nevada Office announced.

Stephan L. DeGraffenreid, 26, of Gardnerville, was charged with one count of sexual exploitation of a child, two counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a child, and one count of possession of child pornography, according to a press release from Steven Myhre, acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada. The mandatory statutory minimum penalty if convicted is 15 years in prison for each of the sexual exploitation and attempted sexual exploitation charges.

Citing a criminal complaint, the attorney’s office states law enforcement discovered child pornography on an Apple iPod Touch found at the children's ski school at Heavenly Mountain Resort. Law enforcement learned the iPod belonged to DeGraffenreid, who was an employee at the children's ski school.

Officers located a thumb drive at DeGraffenreid’s residence containing explicit images of children in a Gardnerville daycare facility restroom. He admitted to downloading and possessing the child pornography, according to the press release.

Asked for comment, Kevin “Coop” Cooper, senior communications manager for Heavenly, sent the following message:

“We terminated Mr. DeGraffenreid from the Heavenly Ski Resort immediately upon learning of the investigation by the authorities. We have no reason to believe that the alleged activity has any connection to Heavenly Ski Resort or its guests. The alleged activity is abhorrent to everything that our resort stands for and we remain available to cooperate with the authorities in their investigation, if requested.”

The case is being investigated by the FBI, the Washoe County Sheriff's Office, and the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Shannon M. Bryant is prosecuting the case.

This story was updated to include comment from a Heavenly spokesperson.