Christopher Granger, 29-year-old former Drexel University graduate student and teacher at Cardigan Mountain School in Canaan, New Hampshire, was sentenced May 19 to 10 years in prison for possession of child pornography. This sentence comes one month after the arrest of Drexel mechanical engineering student Hunter Gayden for possession and distribution of child pornography.
Granger was originally arrested and charged in 2013 when child pornography was discovered on his computer. At this time he was a graduate student at Drexel. It was reported that he was in possession of child pornography for nine years. His sentencing was carried out in federal court in his native city of Detroit after prosecutors discovered that he had deceived priests from the church of St. Paul on the Lake and the Solanus Casey Center for Capuchin into writing letters of praise on his behalf. These letters were given to the judge during the trial. Granger had asked for the letters under the guise that he would be using them as job references.
Granger said that he was embarrassed to his “very core.”
Meanwhile, Gayden, after posting bail of $25,000 April 17, began to attend preliminary hearings April 30. His latest hearing was May 28 at 11 a.m. Gayden has hired private lawyer Michael J. Engle, and the prosecution is being represented by private lawyer Rebecca Elo and the Philadelphia County District Attorney’s Office. The 24-year-old was arrested on 50 counts of child pornography and one count of distribution. Gayden is no longer listed as a student at Drexel University.
Drexel University released this statement on the matter: “Drexel places high priority on the protection of children from abuse and exploitation. The Drexel Police Department is fully cooperating with Philadelphia Police in the investigation. The University is prohibited by FERPA to disclose specifics about a student’s status. However, when a student is in violation of the University’s code of conduct, the student is subject to the conduct process and disciplinary action,” Director of Media Relations Niki Gianakaris sent in an e-mail.
In the 2014-2015 Student Guide book, the university details out what occurs for students that violate the law: “University disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with a violation of the law that is also a violation of a University policy, rule, regulation, or standard of conduct. Disciplinary action at the University may proceed without regard to pending civil litigation or criminal arrest and prosecution. Such proceedings may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings. The University’s disciplinary action will not be subject to challenge on the ground that external charges or litigation involving the same incident have been dismissed or reduced.”
This article was updated on May 28, 5:15 p.m.