TAMPA, FLORIDA – A former assistant principal who worked in Pasco County, Florida was given a 35-year prison sentence for sexually molesting students while working for 13 years as an administrator and teacher.
36-year-old Kyle Dale Ritsema was sentenced to prison last week by Tampa U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven for the crimes of distributing, possessing, and producing child pornography. Mr Ritsema gave a guilty plea on December 21, 2018.
Ritsema lured a 14-year-old child on the mobile app “Grindr” back in 2014, according to Homeland Security Investigations. HSI says Ritsema was having sex with that child on at least five occasions throughout the year and produced pornographic images of that child. Ritsema was sharing those images with other people, including an employee who works for the Pasco County Schools.
Conversations with Mr Ritsema revealed that he is HIV positive. On multiple occasions, Ritsema failed to disclose his HIV status even though he had unprotected sex with children and adults who were unaware of that fact.
Ritsema worked as an assistant principal at the Cypress Creek Middle School, he started the job in 2017 and kept working there until he was arrested. Before working at Cypress Creek, Ritsema worked as assistant principal at Pine View Middle School since July 2015. He was also an assistant principal administrative intern at the River Ridge Middle School, starting in January of 2015. Ritsema was also a math coach at the Paul R. Smith Middle School, and Gulf Highland Elementary School, and Seven Springs Middle School which he began working for in 2006.
“Our communities are safer today with this deviant child sexual predator behind bars, thanks to our HSI special agents, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Middle District Florida U.S. Attorney’s Office.”
“This criminal’s former position of trust makes this case all the more egregious, and we hope his sentencing can bring a small measure of closure to the innocent victims and their families,” HSI Tampa Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero said in a statement.
Homeland Security Investigations had investigated this case and were assisted by the Tampa Police Department and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Assistant United States Attorney Frank Murray prosecuted the case.
Kyle Dale Ritsema will now spend the next 35 years of his life locked up behind bars in prison.