A sexual predator from Michigan lured an Evansville girl into a sexual relationship in 2017.
He took his victim to dinner and movies and showed her “limitless affection,” and he slowly sexualized their relationship, Judge Michael Haakenson said as he passed the man’s sentence Monday.
He had sex with her repeatedly, according to a criminal complaint, and he got her to send him intimate photos and videos of herself.
As part of a plea agreement, charges of child sexual assault were dismissed, but Bryan S. Kind was convicted of three counts of possessing child pornography—the images on his phone.
“This is a case that should be known to parents because this is the case that shows how dangerous social media can be to those underage people who are not yet fully formed in the brain,” Assistant District Attorney Rich Sullivan said.
Sullivan noted research that says brains are not fully developed until people are in their mid-20s.
Kind, now 33, was 31 when he lured the girl when she was 15 and 16, according to criminal complaints.
He was arrested in 2017 after a Janesville hotel worker saw him with the victim in the hotel whirlpool.
Sullivan quoted Kind as defending what he did, saying he met the girl online, and “I thought it would be nice that she had someone to talk to.”
Kind said he then developed feelings for her but didn’t have sex until they had been talking for a year.
He thought she was 16 when they first had sex, and in Michigan the age of consent is 16, Sullivan said.
Sullivan dismissed that explanation, saying Kind is a manipulator. He noted Kind was accused of luring even younger girls in Maryland and Ohio.
Kind’s phone contained 46 “provocative” images of the child in Ohio, Sullivan said.
It contained dozens of similar images and nine videos of the Evansville girl.
Sullivan said the plea agreement spared the victim from having to testify about intimate details in court.
The emotional toll can be great, Sullivan said, telling of victims who have run from his office, vomited or defecated at the prospect of testifying.
“Some people would call that catharsis. I will tell you that in my 11 years doing these cases, it’s actually cruel,” Sullivan said.
Haakenson referred to reports that Kind was luring another Wisconsin girl at the same time as the local case.
The Ohio and Maryland offenses were going on at the same time in 2015, Haakenson said, and he found that two-faced behavior troubling.
Pro Publica reported that police in Baltimore County, Maryland, investigated Kind for rape of a 13-year-old girl, closing its case a month before he was arrested in Janesville.
Janesville investigators found images of that girl still on Kind’s phone, Sullivan said.
Kind’s Baltimore County case apparently fell through the cracks and was never charged.
Sullivan and Isaacson had recommended four years in prison plus six years of supervision.
Haakenson said he gave great weight to the attorneys’ recommendation, but he said he was “troubled” by what he learned about Kind.
Haakenson imposed a harsher sentence, six years in prison and another six years of extended supervision.
Isaacson said Kind is intelligent, has a supportive family and skills that will help him get a good job coming out of prison, all factors that will help him keep from doing this again.
Kind gave a brief, articulate apology. He said he needed to hear Sullivan’s criticisms and that he is sorry, embarrassed and ashamed.
Sullivan said Kind has 12 previous convictions, including for drugs, identity theft, larceny and writing bad checks.
Haakenson said those cases were mostly or all related to an opiate addiction in Kind’s 20s.
Kind was credited for the 698 days he has spent in the Rock County Jail. Haakenson ordered that he not be eligible for prison programs that could shorten his sentence.
Kind will be on the Wisconsin sexual offender registry for the rest of his life.
Sullivan said his victim also will suffer for the rest of her life: “You can’t unring the bell. You can’t go back and give her her innocence back. She is now, forever, on a different trajectory than she would have been if the defendant had not chosen to come down to Wisconsin to manipulate this young girl.”