WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A request for a lower bond from an accused sex trafficker is denied.
Elijah Grant and co-defendant Yannah O’Brien were arrested in June and accused of sex trafficking of a child.
In Friday’s hearing, Grant’s attorney said a six-figure bond, $300,000, was far beyond his client’s ability to pay. He asked it be lowered, and presented testimony from Grant’s brother and stepfather, on a more reasonable bond of around $40,000, that could include restrictions on travel and a requirement to wear an ankle monitor.
His brother also testified grant could live at his residence, and he was confident his four children, ages three to 11 would not be at risk.
The prosecutor asked the bond not be reduced but if it was it be, no lower than $200,000 and require restrictions such as wearing an ankle monitor and house arrest.
He said Grant is a flight risk and poses a risk to the community, with other charges pending including carrying an unlawful weapon and theft of a firearm. He also pointed to Grant’s past association with a gang.
After hearing testimony and arguments, Judge Jeff McKnight denied a lower bond.
Grant and Yannah O’Brien were arrested after a year-long Department of Public Safety investigation that started in July 2020.
DPS agents in the Houston area said they were trying to recover a missing child from Burkburnett, who was found with Grant.
DPS officials recovered Grant’s cell phone and said it contained nude photos and videos of the child performing sexual acts and photos of Grant having sexual intercourse with multiple females. The phone also reportedly had online escort ads of O’Brien and four other unidentified women.
When Grant was interviewed by a DPS special agent, he said he picked up the teen from Burkburnett and took the child to Houston to stay with family.
According to court documents, Grant obtained a friend’s ID so he could create an escort account. That’s because investigators said O’Brien told Grant her account was blocked when he asked her to send him online sex escort sites that she uses.
They said he admitted to obtaining money previously from the prostitution of O’Brien in Wichita Falls.
Investigators believe grant was going to post sex escort ads of the child and that he and O’Brien were going to make money off of the victim on these online sex escort websites.
The DPS describes O’Brien as Grant’s ex-girlfriend mother of his child. O’Brien remains in jail on a total of $1 million bond. Besides sex trafficking, she has eight counts of possession with intent to promote child pornography.