Laurel Man, Kyle Elio Ripper Sentenced to Over 15 Years in Federal Prison for Enticement of a Minor to Engage in Illegal Sexual Activity
The Defendant Admitted to Engaging in Sexual Relations with Two Minor Victims and Possessed Videos Depicting the Sexual Abuse of an Infant
Baltimore, MD (STL.News) U.S. District Judge Stephanie A. Gallagher sentenced Kyle Elio Ripper, age 25, of Laurel, Maryland, yesterday to 188 months in federal prison, followed by 25 years of supervised release, for enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity, specifically, production of child pornography. Judge Gallagher also ordered Ripper to pay $36,000 in restitution to his victims.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge James R. Mancuso of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; and Sheriff Joseph Gamble of the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office.
According to Ripper’s guilty plea, on January 17, 2020, the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office initiated an investigation after discovering evidence that an adult male had sexual contact with a 14-year-old male (Minor Victim 1).
As detailed in his plea agreement, on March 10, 2020, law enforcement executed search warrants at Ripper’s residence and on his vehicle and seized several electronic devices, including a laptop containing a 500 GB internal hard disk drive, a 2 TB external hard drive, and a cell phone. Upon further investigation and review of Ripper’s phone, investigators discovered that Ripper had communicated with minors via the internet and engaged in sexual relations with at least two minor victims.
Specifically, a forensic review of Ripper’s cell phone revealed that on December 28, 2019, Ripper engaged in a sexually explicit conversation with Minor Victim 1 in which Ripper requested Minor Victim 1 to send Ripper an image of Minor Victim 1’s genitals. Ripper also asked to film a sexual encounter with the victim. Ripper traveled to the victim’s residence, engaged in sexual relations with the minor victim, and made videos documenting the sexual encounter on his cell phone. Additional evidence from Ripper’s cell phone revealed that in January 2020, Ripper also communicated with a 16-year-old male victim (Minor Victim 2).
During their communications, Ripper requested, and received, at least one sexually explicit image of Minor Victim 2. According to communications on Ripper’s phone, Ripper traveled to Minor Victim 2’s residence in Baltimore to pick up the victim, and then took the victim to Ripper’s residence in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Ripper then engaged in sexual acts with Minor Victim 2 and produced a video documenting his sexually explicit conduct with Minor Victim 2 using his cell phone.
Additionally, a forensic review of Ripper’s hard drives and laptop revealed thousands of images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of children. For example, Ripper’s computer contained over 4,000 images and videos of child pornography, including a nine-minute video depicting the sexual abuse of a female toddler and multiple videos depicting the sexual abuse of an infant.
Ripper admitted that he knew Minor Victim 1 was 14-years-old before he engaged in sexual acts with the victim and Ripper admitted that he drove to the minor’s residence to engage in sexual relations with Minor Victim 1 on two occasions. Ripper also admitted to having sex with Minor Victim 2.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the HSI and the Talbot Sheriff’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christine L. Duey and Abigail Ticse, who prosecuted the case.