Former Lieutenant for the Newport News Fire Department Sentenced for Coercion and Enticement of a Child and Receipt of Child Pornography
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Bayonet Point, Florida, man was sentenced yesterday to 20 years in prison for engaging in a child exploitation enterprise.
According to court documents, Kyle William Leishear, 43, was a prominent member of the “Rapey.su” website, which was dedicated to, among other things, child sexual exploitation. After becoming a member of the website, Leishear enticed multiple minor victims, including one as young as 12-years-old, to produce and share sexually explicit images. Additionally, Leishear attempted to distribute child sexual abuse material on the Rapey website.
“I am grateful for the hard work of our agents and prosecutors to seek justice in this horrific case. These defendants caused immeasurable trauma on their victims, amplified by the groups online sharing of their abuse,” said Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “This case shows that internet anonymity will not protect offenders from facing full accountability for their illegal online conduct.”
“We cannot and will not tolerate websites like Rapey.su that invite and encourage members to congregate, discuss, and engage in the sexual exploitation of children and young women, to memorialize this exploitation, and to distribute illegal sexually explicit images of the victims,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The Department of Justice is committed to rooting out these websites and bringing to justice those who join them for the purpose of perpetuating the victimization of some of the most vulnerable members of society.”
“The actions of the four individuals in this case were nothing short of reprehensible,” said Special Agent in Charge Derek W. Gordon of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C. “They shamefully targeted the most vulnerable members of our community for their own perverse desires. HSI Washington, D.C. remains committed to protecting children from abuse and holding accountable those individuals who would victimize minors. HSI remains vigilant in watching for indicators of child exploitation throughout our communities.”
Leishear’s co-defendants were sentenced for their roles in the enterprise on April 25, 2023. Co-defendant Christopher William Kuehner, 38, of Bremerton, Washington, received a sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment. Co-defendants Jacob Royce Mullins, 20, of South Webster, Ohio, and Matthew Martin, 25, of Lancaster, Wisconsin, received sentences of 84 months and 80 months of imprisonment, respectively.
In a related case last year, a federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia convicted Ashley Kolhoff, 22, of Port Clinton, Ohio, of production of child pornography for her participation on the Rapey.su website. She was subsequently sentenced to 15 years in prison. Other users around the country have been prosecuted successfully in state and federal court for their conduct committed on the website.
Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; and Derek W. Gordon, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C., made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Schlessinger and Trial Attorney Whitney Kramer of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
In 2021, EDVA launched “UnMasked,” a community-based educational outreach and prevention program in Virginia dedicated to raising awareness and educating the community about the prevalence of online sexual exploitation involving children and young adults. UnMasked is a multi-disciplinary partnership of local, state, federal, and non-profit stakeholders. The core curriculum is provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s (NCMEC) NetSmartz program. To report an incident involving online sexual exploitation, call 1-800-843-5678 or submit a report at report.cybertip.org. To request an UnMasked event at your school or organization, please contact EDVA’s Community Outreach Coordinator at USAVAE-UnMasked@usdoj.gov.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:22-cr-120.