Ex-Tahoe ski school teacher pleads guilty to sexual exploitation of a minor

Stephan L. DeGraffenreid (Photo courtesy: Washoe County Inmate Search)

A Gardnerville man, ex-Tahoe ski school employee pleaded guilty to child sexual exploitation on Tuesday, Sept. 5, according to Acting U.S. Attorney Steven Myhre for the District of Nevada.

Stephan L. DeGraffenreid, 26, pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a minor and two counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor. United States District Judge Howard D. McKibben accepted the guilty plea and scheduled sentencing for Nov. 29, 2017.

DeGraffenreid faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison for each charge.

According to the criminal complaint and plea agreement, law enforcement discovered child pornography on an Apple iPod Touch that was found at the Children’s Ski School at Heavenly Ski Resort.

During the investigation, it was discovered the iPod belonged to DeGraffenreid who was formerly an employee at the ski school. On Jan. 26, 2017, during the execution of a search warrant at DeGraffenreid’s residence, officers with the Northern Nevada Online Child Exploitation Task Force located a thumb drive that contained explicit images of children in a childcare facility restroom in Gardnerville.

DeGraffenreid admitted to taking the sexually explicit photos of the children found on the thumb drive.

The case is being investigated by the Northern Nevada Child Exploitation Task Force, which is comprised of members of the FBI, the Reno Police Department, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, and the Nevada Attorney General’s Office. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office also assisted with the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shannon M. Bryant.

To report child sexual exploitation, contact the FBI’s Las Vegas Office at (702) 385-1281 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).


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