Navy Reservist Ephriam Granderson Arrested at Airport, Charged With 12 Child Sex Crimes

A U.S. Navy Reservist has been charged with 12 felony counts of child sex crimes after he allegedly assaulted three minors between 1993 and 2003.

Ephriam Phillip Granderson, 52, was apprehended at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport, in Georgia, at 5 p.m. on Wednesday after he returned from a deployment to South Korea, Missouri prosecutors said.

He was later charged with two counts of first-degree statutory rape, four counts of first-degree sodomy, four counts of second-degree statutory sodomy, one count of rape and one count of sodomy. The alleged victims were aged between 9 and 16 years old at the time of the claimed sex assaults.

KTVI reported an investigation into claims made against Granderson began when one of his alleged victims came forward in January last year, according to St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell.

According to KSDK, Bell commented: "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."

He added: "We thought that it warranted a second look."

Prosecutors said they knew of three alleged victims who claimed Granderson sexually assaulted them multiple times over a period of 10 years.

It was not stated how the alleged victims knew Granderson. All the alleged victims are female, according to Bell.

Bell also encouraged others who may have similar sexual assault allegations against Granderson to come forward.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said Bell also commented: "Oftentimes, especially younger victims at the time don't feel comfortable for a lot of reasons coming forward—safety reasons, you name it."

Ephriam Granderson was arrested on Wednesday
Ephriam Granderson has been charged with 12 child sex assault offenses. St. Louis County

He continued: "When that courageous individual reached out to us we looked into it and, again, I have to give credit to our investigative staff."

Court documents seen by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said an investigator working with Bell's team believed Granderson "poses a danger to the crime victims as well as to the community."

The prosecutor said Bell was still being held in Atlanta as of Wednesday evening, but that he was expected to be brought to St. Louis County, in Missouri, to face the charges.

Granderson's cash-only bond has been set at $200,000.

According to U.S. military newspaper Stars and Stripes, Granderson has earned several medals since he enlisted as a Navy Reservist in 2000.

Newsweek has contacted the U.S. Navy and Bell's office for comment.