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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 16, 2018

Allegan Online Child Predator Sentenced To Over 20 Years

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN - United States Attorney Andrew Birge announced that James Theodore Pyle, 27, of Allegan, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 245 months’ imprisonment for sexual exploitation of a minor. The Court also ordered that he spend ten years on supervised release and pay a fine of $2,500.

          In 2014, Pyle posed as "Roman Kalhart" on Facebook, claiming he was 15 years old. He befriended numerous young teens and persuaded them to send him sexually explicit photographs. In sentencing Pyle, Chief U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker commented on the sheer number of victims, noting that the investigation showed Pyle had obtained photographs from as many as 50 to 70 minors, at least 20 of whom were outlined in the presentence investigation report. At the time of the offense, Pyle was on probation for accosting a child for immoral purposes. His probation was revoked and on January 25, 2015, he was sentenced in Allegan County Circuit Court to 33 to 48 months in prison. Chief Judge Jonker ordered that his federal sentence be served consecutively to his state sentence, which will be completed on November 20, 2018.

          "The U.S. Attorney’s Office takes very seriously cases involving child predators," said U.S. Attorney Birge. "Those people who would use the internet to hide their true identity to befriend and exploit children deserve the fullest punishment the law provides."

          This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, county prosecutor’s offices, the Internet Crimes Against Children task force, and federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children. The partners in Project Safe Childhood work to educate communities about the dangers of online child exploitation and to teach children how to protect themselves. More information is available at www.projectsafechildhood.gov. Individuals with information or concerns about possible child exploitation should contact local law enforcement officials.

          This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexis Sanford and investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from the Michigan Department of Corrections and the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety.

END

Updated August 16, 2018