JACKSONVILLE, FL—U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard sentenced Doyce Dean Griffis (49, Starke) to 210 months in federal prison and a 10-year term of supervised release for using his tanning bed business to produce child pornography. Griffis was also ordered to register as a sex offender and forfeit a computer, two video cameras, and numerous other forms of computer media. On February 14, 2012, Griffis pled guilty to five charges of producing videos of child pornography.
According to court documents, from February 2000 and continuing until April 26, 2011, Griffis operated and maintained a tanning bed in an outbuilding at his residence located at 2261 S.E. 128th Street in Starke, Florida. He engaged in a business operation in which he allowed individual customers to use the tanning bed in the outbuilding in exchange for a monetary fee. Griffis allowed customers to make payments by placing money in a payment slot in the wall of the room of the outbuilding housing the tanning bed. According to court documents, Griffis’ customers believed that the room in the outbuilding that contained the tanning bed was secure and that their privacy would be protected. However, unbeknownst to his customers, the outbuilding room containing the tanning bed had been equipped by Griffis with a two-way mirror that allowed Griffis to view the room from a second concealed room. Griffis also made a hole in an air vent near the foot of the tanning bed that allowed him to view the customers as they lay inside the tanning bed. Using the two-way mirror and the hole in the air vent, Griffis surreptitiously made video recordings of many of his customers as they undressed and entered and exited from the tanning bed. Griffis personally operated a video camera and filmed unsuspecting customers through both the two-way mirror and the hole in the air vent in the tanning bed room.
Court documents revealed that Griffis made surreptitious video recordings of dozens of female customers, including more than 20 minor female children. These recordings depicted these minors in various states of undress, completely nude, and/or engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Griffis produced, collected, and maintained the sexually explicit video recordings of his victim customers for his own sexual gratification and kept detailed notes on the types of physical and sexual characteristics of his customers.
During the course of the investigation, Griffis stated that he had downloaded child pornography on his laptop computer and stated that there were numerous videos and pictures containing child pornography saved on the computer that he downloaded using a particular file sharing program. He admitted that several of the girls that he had surreptitiously filmed were underage. A forensic search of Griffis’ laptop computer revealed approximately 103 videos and 45 images of child pornography that Griffis had downloaded from the Internet.
This case was investigated by the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney D. Rodney Brown.
This is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”