Child Rape Fugitive Arrested in Oklahoma20-Jul-2015
A man wanted on 33 criminal counts related to the repeated rape of a 10-year-old girl in Illinois was apprehended by U.S. Marshals last week in Tulsa.
Gary M.J. “Mikel” Grodin, 32, came under suspicion after he allegedly told a Facebook friend that, although he was living with his ex-girlfriend in Swansea, Illinois, he was actually in love with the woman's 10-year-old daughter. He allegedly told the friend that he had been having sex with the little girl, and the friend notified police.
Grodin is accused of raping the girl over a period of at least two months. Police say he bound the girl's hands with zip ties and videotaped the sexual assaults. He is charged in Illinois with 15 counts of predatory criminal sexual assault and 18 counts of manufacturing child pornography.
After the accusation, Grodin fled Illinois. Police believed that the graduate of Bixby High School may have returned to Oklahoma. It was a good hunch. U.S. Marshals took Grodin into custody last Thursday as he walked down a Tulsa street. They also arrested a woman with Grodin on outstanding warrants unrelated to the Illinois case.
Although the defendant has several criminal convictions in Oklahoma, his Tulsa County criminal history contains neither sex offenses nor violent crimes:
- Drug possession (deferred)
- Larceny from a retailer
- Public drunkenness
- Second degree burglary
- Larceny from a house
- Misdemeanor possession of a Schedule IV drug
- Attempted larceny from a retailer
Police in Swansea say the girl's mother did not know that her daughter was being sexually assaulted, and she is not facing any charges. They describe her as "distraught" and say she is fully cooperating with their investigation.
Grodin is fighting extradition to Illinois.
"Predatory criminal sexual assault" is not a name given to any offense in Oklahoma. Rather, if the allegations against the defendant had taken place in Oklahoma, the charges would likely be first degree rape of a child under 13 and production and/or possession of child pornography.
Oklahoma child pornography laws, in 21 O.S. § 1021.2, make it a felony "to procure or cause the participation of any minor under the age of eighteen (18) years in any child pornography." The statute continues by saying that anyone who "knowingly possesses, procures, or manufactures, or causes to be sold or distributed any child pornography" is guilty if a felony that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The child rape charges would be much more serious. First degree rape, which includes sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 14, by statute is punishable by death. However, because the United States Supreme Court has ruled the death penalty to be unconstitutional for all crimes except aggravated murder, the maximum penalty for first degree rape is life in prison without parole. If a person convicted of first degree rape is released from prison, he or she must register for life as a sex offender.
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