Former Bank Vice President Pleads Guilty To Attempted Online Enticement Of A Minor
WILMINGTON, Del. – Kirk A. Simmons, age 59, of Newark, Delaware, pled guilty today to Attempted Coercion and Enticement of a Minor, in violation of federal law. Charles M. Oberly, III, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced the guilty plea following a hearing in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, where Simmons will be sentenced by United States District Judge Leonard P. Stark on June 24, 2014.
Simmons faces a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years, and a maximum sentence of life, in prison. He also faces a fine of up to $250,000 and a term of supervised release following his prison sentence of at least five years to life. Simmons also will be required to register as a sex offender in any U.S. jurisdiction in which he lives, works, or attends school.
At the time of his arrest in this case, Simmons was employed as a Vice President, Market Information Manager II at Bank of America’s Newark, Delaware facility. Bank of America terminated Simmons’s employment following notification of his arrest and criminal conduct. According to his LinkedIn profile, at the time of his arrest, Simmons also was working as a “Professional private tutor” through WyzAnt Tutoring, “providing private in-home tutoring at the high school and college levels.”
According to the indictment and court documents, Simmons was arrested by the Delaware Child Predator Task Force on July 18, 2013, after he arrived at a Newark hotel to engage in sex acts with two persons he believed to be a 13-year-old girl and her biological father. Approximately one month earlier, in June 2013, Simmons responded to a “personals” advertisement for “fam love/taboo” on an adult social networking website. Simmons believed the advertisement had been posted by the father of a 13-year-old girl who the father would make available for sex with adult males. In fact, the “father” was actually an undercover Delaware State Police detective assigned to the Delaware Child Predator Task Force.
Over the course of the next month, Simmons and the undercover detective engaged in numerous online chat conversations in which Simmons indicated and graphically described that he wanted to engage in sexual activity with the purported “father” and his child. After a number of online conversations, Simmons and the “father” agreed to meet at a Newark hotel on July 18, 2013, where they both would engage in sex acts with the “13-year-old daughter.”
Shortly before that meeting, Simmons was under surveillance by the Delaware State Police and was observed driving directly from his workplace to the hotel. He was arrested by Child Predator Task Force members when he arrived in the hotel parking lot. In a recorded interview with a Delaware State Police detective, Simmons admitted that he intended to engage in sexual activity with the fictitious “father” and “13-year-old daughter” at the hotel. Simmons also admitted that he brought a digital camera with him to photograph the sexual activity.
Following the plea hearing, United States Attorney Charles M. Oberly, III stated: “I want to thank the Delaware Child Predator Task Force for its outstanding work in this case. This was a time-intensive, month-long, online undercover investigation that resulted in the capture of a seemingly upstanding and successful businessman who planned to rape a child with her father’s help. I would also like to thank the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for its continued and successful partnership with our State law enforcement partners on this critically important work.”
"Protecting children from predators requires cooperation among law enforcement agencies," said Delaware State Prosecutor Kathleen Jennings. "That's why under Attorney General Biden's leadership the Delaware Child Predator Task Force, which is co-led by the Delaware Department of Justice and the Delaware State Police, regularly works across jurisdictional lines with local, state, and federal partners to track down and stop those who are seeking to hurt our kids."
"This case shows that exploitation of children has severe consequences for those who engage in these depraved activities,” said John Kelleghan, special agent in charge of HSI Philadelphia. “HSI is committed to investigating these cases, working alongside our agency partners to help protect the citizens of our neighboring communities.”
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Edward J. McAndrew and investigated by the Delaware State Police and the United States Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations.