CIRCLEVILLE — Sheriff Matthew O. Hafey announced the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office has been working with the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office and the Columbus Division of Police in a joint investigation of alleged child sexual abuse.
The Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office was contacted on Feb. 17, 2021 by a third party, reporting that several people had been sexually assaulted. The sexual assaults were reported to have occurred in Scioto, Pickaway and Franklin Counties.
Lt. Johnathan Strawser, Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office, and Detective Jodi Conkel, Scioto County Sheriff’s Office, worked jointly on the investigation. The joint investigation resulted in an arrest warrant being issued in Scioto County.
On April 13, 2021 the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office, Scioto County Sheriff’s Office, Columbus Police Department, along with the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force executed a search warrant at the suspect’s residence located at 2630 Kingston Pike, Circleville, Ohio. The suspect, identified as Michael Grashel, 53, was arrested on the Scioto County warrant and taken to the Pickaway County Jail.
Mr. Grashel waived his right to a Rule 4 hearing and was transported to the Scioto County Jail. During the search of the Grashel’s residence, numerous images and videos were located that contain suspected child pornography.
In Scioto County, Grashel has been charged with two counts of rape, a felony of the first degree, with the victims being under the age of 13, along with two counts of disseminating matter harmful to a juvenile, a felony of the fifth degree.
Grashel is being held in the Scioto County Jail on a one-million-dollar cash bond and will appear in Portsmouth Municipal Court on Wednesday April 14, 2021.
This is an ongoing investigation, which may result in addition charges in Pickaway, Scioto and Franklin Counties.
Anyone with information should contact Detective Sgt. Jodi Conkel at 740-351-1091 or Lt. Johnathan Strawser at 740-474-2176. All calls will remain anonymous.
Sheriff Hafey would like to thank Sheriff David Thoroughman and the deputies of the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office for the opportunity to work jointly on this investigation as well as the ICAC Task Force to include officers from the Circleville Police Department who assisted in today’s operation.