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Gray man arraigned on federal child porn charges; child porn cartoons included

October 23rd, 2013 9:59 am by Becky Campbell

Gray man arraigned on federal child porn charges; child porn cartoons included

Ray D. Sluss


GREENEVILLE — A registered sex offender accused of stabbing a Washington County deputy during a federal raid at his Gray residence in August has been indicted on child pornography charges resulting from that search.


Images seized included child pornography cartoons — a first in Northeast Tennessee.


Ray D. Sluss, 48, 180 Shannon View Road, Gray, was arraigned Wednesday morning on four child pornography charges in U.S. District Court.


The charges include receiving child pornography, possessing child pornography, receiving child pornography cartoons and possessing child pornography cartoons.

"This is a crime I've never seen before," Judge Dennis Inman said of the cartoon allegations.


On Aug. 31, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, the Tennessee Department of Correction and the Washington County Sheriff's Office raided Sluss' residence in Gray and two 650GB external hard drives were seized in the raid.


According to court records, those hard drives and one of three laptop computers in the house were found hidden in the ceiling rafters in a garage right outside Sluss’ bedroom.


Washington County Capt. Larry Denny suffered a minor cut on his left hand while arresting Sluss, according to reports at the time.



The raid was initiated by the FBI after Sluss allegedly ordered a magazine on how to pass a polygraph test.


On Wednesday, Sluss pleaded not guilty to his latest charges, and Inman set a trial date for Dec. 18. If convicted, Sluss faces a minimum of 15 years in federal prison on each of the receiving pornography charges and 10 years on each of the possession charges for a total of 50 years.


Sluss was convicted in 2002 of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s sex offender registry website.


Sluss was charged with 71 counts of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of especially aggravated exploitation of a minor. Authorities said at the time more than 3,000 pornographic images of children were found on the hard drive of Sluss’ computer and on floppy discs. Some of the children appeared to be less than 1 year old.


Sluss also was disseminating the material through his own website, authorities said at the time.


Upon his conviction in 2002, Sluss was ordered to serve three years in prison and 20 years of supervised probation. That probation order was amended in 2010 to unsupervised probation, but all other conditions were to remain in effect.


During the August search, authorities initially found two laptops — one was his mothers and the other was inoperable. But they believed Sluss had access to other computers because of a 2011 check at his house on Halloween night — sex offenders are prohibited from handing out candy to children on the October holiday — when Denny had observed two working laptops in Sluss’ bedroom.


Sluss denied having any other computers and told officers they were welcome to look around, according to court records. When  they found the hidden laptop and hard drives, Sluss pulled out a knife. He was taken into custody after a struggle and being electronically shocked twice.


Sluss will remain in jail without bond while the federal case is pending.


If he’s convicted of the federal charges, he faces a minimum mandatory of 10 years and a maximum of 40 years in prison.


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