Police & Courts

Former substitute teacher enters Alford plea in child porn case

Ty Gramley during an arraignment appearance last year in Monroe County District Court Judge Michael Wilson.
FORREST GOSSETT/SALT RIVER JOURNAL
By Hannibal Courier-Post
Posted: Feb. 7, 2020 1:49 pm Updated: Feb. 8, 2020 5:13 pm

PARIS, Mo. | Ty Michael Gramley, 28, of Columbia, entered a so-called Alford Plea before in the 10th Circuit Court before Judge Rachael Bringer Shepherd at the Monroe County Court on Thursday.

Under an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt to all the charges that have been filed but tells the court that the prosecution will likely achieve a guilty verdict if the case goes to trial.

He now faces up to seven years in prison and must register as a sex offender.

Gramley, who was then an employee of Kelly Educational Services, was charged with providing pornographic videos and photos to a minor female student while he was working as a substitute teacher at the Madison C-3 School District between March 1 and March 29, 2019. Kelly has a contract to provide substitute teachers for several school districts in the area.

A Kelly spokeswoman declined to comment in Gramley's case.

“As an employer who conducts business based on the highest standards of integrity and professionalism, Kelly does not publicly discuss specific information related to matters involving our current, or former, substitute teachers,” said Jane Stehney of Kelly.

In his defense, Gramley and his lawyer, Clark Jones, disputed charges that he was aware the student was under 18 years old.

“I was not necessarily aware,” Gramley said. “I knew she was close to 18.”

However, his attorney, Jones, said that if the case went to trial, Gramley would likely be convicted by a jury of knowing the victim was a minor.

There were no conditions or sentencing agreements for the guilty plea, though the prosecutor did promise not to bring additional charges in the case. Both lawyers told the judge they expected additional changes if the case went to a jury trial.

Monroe County Deputy Joe Colston said that he went to Madison School on March 29 following a call from the principal, whom he said reported “inappropriate communication between a student and a substitute teacher.”

Colston reported that the student said she had been sending and receiving sexually explicit text messages, photos and videos with Gramley, adding that she met Gramley while he was working as a substitute teacher in the Madison School District.

“(The female student) stated that the exchanges had been made via Facebook Messenger,” wrote Colston. “Both (the student) and her mother agreed to allow me to view the Facebook Messenger conversation on (the student's) cellular phone.”

“There was no indication in the conversation that I observed indicating that Gramley conveyed any concern about the images he was receiving,” Colston wrote.

Gramley faces a sentencing hearing on April 2 at 2:30 p.m. at the Monroe County Court House.

 

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