The charges against Garrett Joseph Grommesh, 21, stemmed from cyber tips from Tumblr, a social networking website, that prompted a Moorhead police investigation in 2019, according to court documents.
Under a plea agreement, Grommesh pleaded guilty to three charges of possession of child pornography and one count of dissemination. Six other counts of possession of child pornography were dismissed.
When questioned during a court hearing Monday about specific details pertaining to the charges, Grommesh said he has memory issues.
“I’ve had two strokes in my life and I’ve had numerous neurosurgeries,” said Grommesh, who attended the hearing remotely. “I’ve been in two medical induced comas in my life, and I went into septic shock the second time."
At times during the hearing, Grommesh could not remember details, but also didn’t deny that the incidents occurred.
In 2010, the spotlight shined on Grommesh and his family when they were featured on the home improvement reality show “Extreme Makeover." More than 4,000 volunteers helped the TV show’s crew build a 5,200-square-foot home for the family.
The home was made accessible for Grommesh, who used a wheelchair after being diagnosed with spina bifida. The birth defect prevents development of the spine and spinal cord.
Clay County District Judge Tammy Merkins set Grommesh's sentencing for 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7. Before then, Grommesh must undergo a sex offender evaluation.
Because Grommesh does not have a criminal history, the plea agreement stipulates that Grommesh may serve 90 days on electronic home monitoring and be placed on supervised probation. Also as part of the plea agreement, he would be expected to complete a mental health evaluation and no longer be allowed to use social media or have unsupervised access to the internet.