CINCINNATI – A former officer with the Cincinnati Police Department (CPD) accused of possessing child pornography was charged Wednesday in federal court. The charges resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and CPD.
Randolph Grote, 42, of Cincinnati, Ohio, was indicted in federal court on one count of possession of child pornography. Grote, a former Cincinnati Police officer, resigned from the force effective Aug. 2.
The indictment resulted from an ongoing HSI investigation into the distribution of child pornography over the Internet. It is alleged that during the course of the investigation, HSI special agents traced access to child pornography back to Grote's home address.
In Oct. 2011, HSI Cincinnati special agents, assisted by CPD's Professional Standards Section, executed a federal search warrant at Grote's home. During the execution of the search warrant, multiple computers and media storage devices were seized. Forensic examinations later revealed images of children engaged in illicit sexual activity.
An indictment contains only charges, and is not proof of the defendant's guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government's burden to prove his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.