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Former Pasco Co. vice principal pleads guilty to child porn charges, agents seek additional victims

Kyle Ritsema 2.jpg
Kyle Ritsema.jpg
Posted at 2:33 PM, Dec 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-21 16:48:57-05

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — Special agents with ICE's Homeland Security Investigations are seeking additional victims after a former vice principal in Pasco County pleaded guilty to distributing, producing and possessing child pornography.

Kyle Ritsema, 36, enticed a 14-year-old boy on the app, "Grindr," according to court documents. He started as early as November 2014 and continued until his arrest in February 2018. Agents say the investigation revealed that there may be multiple child victims, as well as a public health concern.

Pasco County assistant principal arrested on child porn charges

“If there are more children that were victimized by this predator, we ask for the public and parents to help us identify them and make sure they receive the support they need,” said HSI Tampa Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero “These young people did not know there was an adult predator on the other side of the computer and this should serve as a grave warning to our communities to be vigilant about our children’s online activities.”

Authorities say Ritsema knew that the boy was a minor and met him in person, having sex on at least five occasions. On one of those occasions, authorities say Ritsema used his phone to take several explicit photos of the boy. Then, on the same day, Ritsema shared graphic details of the encounter and sent the photos to multiple other people.

Starting in March 2017, and continuing until he was arrested, Ritsema had been the assistant principal at Cypress Creek Middle School. Before that, in July 2015, he was the assistant principal at Pine View Middle School. In January 2015 he was appointed assistant principal administrative intern at River Ridge Middle School. Before that, he was a math teacher and math coach at Paul R. Smith Middle School, Gulf Highland Elementary School, and Seven Springs Middle School.

Ritsema faces up to 80 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not been set.

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 Homeland Security Investigations at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or online.