South Carolina man pleads guilty to traveling to Louisiana to engage in sexual conduct with 15 year-old

Published 6:45 am Friday, May 13, 2022

NEW ORLEANSLOUISIANA – GRAHAM LOVELACE, age 33, of Greenville, South Carolina, pleaded guilty as charged today before United States District Judge Barry W. Ashe to a one-count bill of information charging him with interstate travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, announced United States Attorney Duane A. Evans.

According to the court documents, in October 2021, LOVELACE met the minor, a fifteen-year-old who resided in Belle Chasse, Louisiana, on an Xbox game.  Throughout 2020 and 2021, LOVELACE and the minor engaged in sexually explicit correspondence, and they made plans to engage in sexual acts in the future, on numerous occasions.  During the correspondence, LOVELACE requested and received sexually explicit images and videos of the minor via a video messaging application.  In early January 2021, LOVELACE purchased the minor victim a bus ticket to travel from New Orleans to Greenville, South Carolina.  However, the minor victim’s mother discovered the correspondence with LOVELACE, informed LOVELACE of the minor victim’s age, and prevented the minor from leaving Louisiana.  In fall of 2021, LOVELACE and the minor made plans for LOVELACE to travel to Louisiana to pick up the minor and return to South Carolina together for the purpose of engaging in sex and spending the rest of their lives together. On about October 6, 2021, LOVELACE traveled by automobile from South Carolina to the minor’s Belle Chasse, Louisiana school bus stop.  LOVELACE and the minor then travelled to New Orleans, where they stayed in a hotel room together and engaged in sexual intercourse.  On about October 7, 2021, LOVELACE and the minor were found by law enforcement, walking hand-in-hand down Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

LOVELACE faces a maximum term of imprisonment of not more than thirty (30) years, followed by a minimum of five (5) years and maximum of a lifetime of supervised release, and up to a $250,000 fine.  LOVELACE will also be required to pay a mandatory $100 special assessment fee at sentencing.   LOVELACE may also be required to register as a sex offender.  Sentencing before Judge Milazzo has been scheduled for Thursday, August 18, 2022.

The case was investigated by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jordan Ginsberg and Melissa Bücher.