‘You destroyed our family’; Rapid City man sentenced for exploiting minors
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Victims of what prosecutors called “disgusting” crimes against children received a sliver of justice years after a Rapid City man solicited them for nude photos.
On Sept. 8, U.S. Magistrate Judge Daneta Wollman sentenced Kyle Garrett Soto, 34, after a jury found him guilty of various crimes involving minors between the ages of seven to 15-years-old.
The incidents occurred between February 2014 and April 2018 and constituted 15 charges, including:
- Five counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
- One count of Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
- Six counts of Enticement of a Minor Using the Internet
- Two counts of Receipt of Child Pornography
- One count of Possession of Child Pornography
Soto, who is from Rapid City, faces 30 years in prison - 360 months and another 240 between the various counts, served concurrently - and must register as a sex offender. He must also enroll in a related treatment program and will be under supervision for 15 years after his release.
The judge granted a request made by Soto’s attorney to have his client entered into a program close to family members in Florida on the basis that it would aid his rehabilitation efforts.
The Rhode Island Investigation
In a redacted affidavit written by Brian Freeouf, an investigator with the South Dakota Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce (ICAC), probable cause was found to support the belief that Soto committed the crime of enticement of a minor.
From February to April 2018, a member of the state ICAC task force followed a complaint made by the guardian of an 11-year-old Rhode Island child that alleged Soto was soliciting child pornography from their ward.
The guardian told a detective the child had been communicating to Soto over e-mail and that the child had sent him a pornographic photo of himself on Nov. 15, 2017. The man later used this photo to blackmail his victim, indicating he would send the photo to the child’s guardian if they refused to send a video displaying their genitals.
On Feb. 20, 2018, the detective assumed the child’s identity and contacted Soto under the guise of the 11-year-old with the parent’s permission. The investigator discovered the child had participated in a video chat with Soto at an unknown time.
This was confirmed after Soto sent the detective an explicit screenshot and alleged he recorded the entire interaction.
The Rapid City man then attempted to exhort the undercover detective to send a pornographic video, claiming he would pay him with a $200 Amazon gift card and threatening to send the aforementioned photo to the child’s guardian if they refused to comply.
Soto was later arrested after a warrant was signed on Feb. 24, 2018.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Collins, one of two prosecutors on the case, Soto’s crimes impacted many children and minors over multiple years.
During the Rapid City man’s sentencing, Collins described his conduct with children as “disgusting” and said he made solicitations at a “rapid-fire” pace.
Soto’s offenses included multiple victims, including a 15-year-old female, two 13-year-old females and two minors from France and Great Britain. Prosecutors said the incidents drove the 15-year-old to consider suicide.
Collins also claimed her team received so much evidence against Soto, they had to divert staff away from the case as the overwhelming amount of information proved a drain on their resources.
“The sheer number of victims in this case is staggering,” Collins said. “His [method] was striking ... and the impact on these kids was profound.”
Prosecutors referenced a psychiatric test conducted on Soto, which indicated Soto was at “high risk of recidivism and re-offending.”
Soto’s ex-wife attended the Wednesday sentencing as another victim of the man’s lewd offenses. She read a statement to the court, denouncing her former husband for her crimes. Stifling tears, she recalled an instance when authorities raided her home with their kids inside in 2018, leaving her to connect the dots.
“That’s what you were doing all those hours while I was away working,” she said. “You destroyed our family ... we did not deserve this, nor did any of the victims.”
Judge Daneta Wollman provided her own final statements, calling the preceding trial one of the worst she’s ever presided over and telling Soto “I have no doubt ... you were guilty.”
“You destroyed our family.”
The parents of Soto spoke to the court over the phone, defending their son. Soto’s mother asked for leniency from the judge based on her positive interactions with her child, saying “he continues to profess his innocence ... no man who is guilty would be as happy as Kyle.”
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