SAN FRANCISCO—Kenneth Martin Kyle pleaded guilty and was sentenced late Thursday afternoon to 37-and-a-half years in prison and ordered to pay $50,000 in restitution for traveling across state lines to sexually abuse a child, Melinda Haag, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California, announced.
In pleading guilty, Kyle admitted that in August 2009, he traveled from San Francisco to St. Louis for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts with an infant victim. Immediately following his guilty plea, which was pursuant to a plea agreement with the United States, Kyle was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White.
“It is my hope that the sentence Mr. Kyle received sends a strong message about the abhorrent conduct in this case,” U.S. Attorney Haag said. “Protecting children from sexual predators is an important priority. My office will continue to work diligently with our partners in law enforcement to track down and prosecute sexual predators to the fullest extent of the law.”
At the time of his arrest, in March 2010, Kyle was an Assistant Professor of Justice Studies at California State University East Bay. He came to the attention of the FBI when undercover agents discovered that he was sharing child pornography over a peer-to-peer file sharing network. The FBI passed this information along to San Francisco police officers who obtained a search warrant for Kyle’s San Francisco apartment. During the search of Kyle’s apartment, they found computers containing child pornography. Because Kyle was out of the country at the time, San Francisco police officers shared their information with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)-Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
“Nothing is more gratifying than seeing someone like this go to prison for a very, very long time where he will no longer have the opportunity to harm children in such a horrible fashion,” said Clark Settles, special agent in charge for the ICE-HSI office in San Francisco. “HSI will use every tool at its disposal to track down those who would harm our children and see that they are brought to justice.”
During his plea hearing, Kyle admitted to molesting a five-month-old infant in St. Louis over several months. The infant victim’s mother currently faces federal child pornography charges in California and Missouri and has already pleaded guilty to state child molestation charges in Missouri.
Kyle, 47, of San Francisco, was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 1, 2010. He was charged with aggravated sexual abuse of a child, production of child pornography, distribution of child pornography, transportation of child pornography, and possession of child pornography. Under the plea agreement, Kyle pleaded guilty to count one of the indictment.
Owen Martikan is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Rosario Calderon. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by ICE-HSI. This investigation also involved significant assistance from the FBI, the San Francisco Police Department, the St. Louis Police Department, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri.