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Pasco County assistant principal arrested on child porn charges

Posted at 11:09 PM, Feb 13, 2018

A Pasco County assistant principal is facing child pornography charges after being arrested Tuesday.

35-year-old Kyle Ritsema, the assistant principal at Cypress Creek Middle School, is accused of taking photos of a naked 14-year-old boy and sending them to another man.

The educator met the child online, and the two reportedly had a romantic relationship.

Ritsema told detectives the boy lied about his age, but text messages showed Ritsema saying he was having sex with a 15-year-old.

Federal agents located text messages Ritsema sent to another man who was arrested for child pornography in November of 2017. Agents say the text messages showed both men shared details of their mutual sexual interest in children.

"Honestly, I didn't see it coming from as far as I knew he was a really nice guy. I never heard anything bad about him," said Cameron Moss who attended one of the schools where Ritsema taught.

Ritsema admitted to federal agents some of the images they located were taken inside his car and in his bedroom.

Ritsema has worked at three other schools in Pasco County: Pineview Middle, River Ridge Middle, and Seven Springs Middle.

The following recorded message was sent by the school district:

“Good evening coyotes. Earlier today one of our assistant principals, Mr. Ritsema, was taken into custody on federal charges. The district has been notified that law enforcement’s concerns are not related to our students, school or school district.”

Pasco School District spokeswoman Linda Cobbe told ABC Action News Ritsema is on paid administrative leave.