News Article Details

Tampa man sent boys money in exchange for nude photos, Manatee deputies, FBI say

Bradenton Herald - 12/1/2018

Nov. 30--A Tampa man who told investigators he has an autism spectrum disorder was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography after an investigation by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office and the FBI, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Kyle S. Wallace, 22, was arrested and charged in a federal criminal complaint with production and attempted production of child pornography and possession of child pornography.

Between September 2017 and July 2018, investigators say Wallace messaged the two boys, a 13-year-old and a 12-year-old, through the gaming system Xbox Live and the social media app Instagram. In the conversations, Wallace offered gaming credits or money for games in exchange for photos from the boys, according to the criminal complaint.

The FBI and the Manatee County Sheriff's Office started the investigation in August, after parents of one of the victims reported to Manatee County deputies they thought an adult had persuaded their 13-year-old son to send nude photos, according to the complaint.

The boy's parents told investigators they noticed suspicious payments on their son's Xbox live account they did not make. The boy told his parents they were from Wallace.

When deputies spoke to the boy, he told them he learned about Wallace from another 12-year-old boy. The 12-year-old boy told investigators he met Wallace in an Xbox Live chat room while playing "Grand Theft Auto," according to the complaint. The boy reportedly told Wallace he was 12.

Both boys told investigators Wallace would send them gift cards for Xbox Live goods and services in exchange for nude photos, according to the complaint. The boys first downloaded photos from the internet to send but eventually sent nude photos of themselves, the complaint noted.

The 12-year-old boy's parents also identified suspicious payments they did not make to their son's Xbox Live account.

Both boys said they started talking to Wallace about a year ago, the complaint read.

Wallace used the usernames "AsThickAsFire" on Xbox Live and "drawingguitar" on Instagram, according to the complaint.

Manatee County deputies identified IP addresses used to access Wallace's Instagram account as coming from his Tampa home and an assisted living facility in Tampa where he worked.

Agents searched Wallace's home Thursday and reported finding at least one picture on Wallace's phone, according to the complaint.

Wallace admitted to trying to get both boys, as well as three other minors, to send him pictures in exchange for money or game credits, according to the complaint. He also told investigators he molested one of the children who was only 11 or 12 years old.

"Wallace stated that he has Asperger's and he claimed that he has the mindset of a younger child, which he indicated explains his offenses," agents wrote in the complaint.

He has no known criminal history.

If Wallace is convicted, he faces at least 15 years in federal prison. He could be sentenced to up to 30 years, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

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(c)2018 The Bradenton Herald (Bradenton, Fla.)

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