(STL.News) – U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven today sentenced Kyle Dale Ritsema (36, Land O’Lakes) to 35 years in federal prison for producing, distributing, and possessing child pornography.
Ritsema had pleaded guilty on December 21, 2018.
According to court documents, in 2014, Ritsema, a former teacher and Assistant Principal at Cypress Creek Middle High School in Pasco County, enticed a 14-year-old child on the mobile application “Grindr.” Ritsema had sex with the child on at least five occasions over the course of one year and produced pornographic images of the child. Ritsema shared the images with others, including another employee of Pasco County Schools. A subsequent investigation revealed that Ritsema had targeted many other minors, including former students, and enticed them for sex, and on several occasions sexually abused them. Ritsema’s conversations also revealed that he is HIV positive and that, on multiple occasions, he did not disclose his HIV status despite having unprotected sex with unknowing children and adults.
Beginning in March 2017, and continuing until his arrest in this case, Ritsema had been an Assistant Principal at Cypress Creek Middle High School. Before holding that position, he was the Assistant Principal at Pine View Middle School (appointed in July 2015), an Assistant Principal Administrative Intern at River Ridge Middle School (appointed in January 2015), and a math teacher and math coach at Paul R. Smith Middle School, Gulf Highland Elementary School, and Seven Springs Middle School (beginning in 2006).
“Our communities are safer today with this deviant child sexual predator behind bars, thanks to our HSI special agents, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Middle District Florida U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said HSI Tampa Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero. “This criminal’s former position of trust makes this case all the more egregious and we hope today’s sentencing can bring a small measure of closure to the innocent victims and their families.”
This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Tampa Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Murray.
Any person who had unprotected sexual contact with Ritsema, or any person who was, or knows of someone who may have been, a possible child victim, is urged to contact HSI at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or http://www.ice.gov/webform/hsi-tip-form.