Gallery owner faces child porn charges

A 54-year-old Kennett Square entrepreneur known for giving back to the community is facing criminal charges.

Olen M. Grimes Jr., an active member of the Longwood Rotary who operates My Polished Salon and Artworks Fine Arts & Crafts in Kennett Square, was arrested on June 30 and charged with offenses that include child pornography, invasion of privacy, and endangering the welfare of children. Grimes waived his preliminary hearing on Aug. 1 and remains free after posting $15,000 cash bail, according to court records.

“Olen Grimes is a good man, as evinced by his many years of dedicated philanthropy within his community,” said his attorney, Peter E. Kratsa. “The historical allegation against him, whether true or not, is contrary to his character.”

Kratsa said he would be working with the District Attorney’s Office “in an effort to resolve this matter in a mutually-agreeable manner.”

Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said that any suggestions from the public that Grimes got special treatment because of his community service background were inaccurate. “He did not get preferential treatment,” said Hogan, adding that he did not know anything about Grimes until questioned by a reporter.

According to the criminal complaint, last November Grimes asked an associate to pick up a video camera located in a filing cabinet at the Artworks gallery in the 100 block of South Union Street. Grimes was unable to retrieve the camera himself because he had suffered injuries in a car accident.

The delivery person viewed a suspicious file, made a copy of it, left the video camera at Grimes’ home in Lincoln University, and took the copy to Kennett Square police. The recording depicted Grimes hiding a camera in a bathroom and then surreptitiously filming two teenage girls in his care as they each got ready to take a shower, the complaint said.

Kennett Square Police Lt. William T. Holdsworth said the case was turned over to the county because the county detectives typically handle forensic examinations of electronics and there was no evidence that the illicit taping had occurred in the borough.

When Grimes saw that the video camera had been returned, he sent a text to his associate: “Not me, I swear it, I loaned the camera to one of the girls,” blaming the recording on the girl’s boyfriend, the complaint said.

On April 21, county detectives interviewed one of the victims, who said she was 13 or 14 at the time and did not consent to the video. Grimes was interviewed on May 12 and admitted that he had transported the girls to a concert at Montage Mountain in Moosic Borough five to six years ago. He said he set up the illicit recording in a hotel bathroom in Moosic, the complaint said.

An online profile describes Grimes as a past Marine Corps corporal, a former car salesman, and a 10-year volunteer firefighter. His listed goals include giving back to society. “Joining the Longwood Rotary Club was and is a great way to give back, and I enjoy it very much,” he wrote.

 

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