A federal magistrate judge denied bond for a middle school assistant principal accused of producing and distributing child pornography.
- Kyle Dale Ritsema taken into custody Tuesday
- Could spend up to 70 years in prison
- PREVIOUS: Assistant principal arrested after Homeland Security investigation
Kyle Dale Ritsema, 35, of Land O' Lakes, was taken into custody Tuesday by U.S. Marshals after a Homeland Security investigation of another individual identified in court documents at "Defendant 1" linked him to the explicit images.
A federal grand jury later indicted Ritsema on four charges.
"If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum penalty of 30 years and a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in federal prison for production of child pornography, 20 years in federal prison for each of two counts for distributing child pornography, and 10 years in federal prison for possessing child pornography," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement posted Thursday.
A court-appointed defense attorney argued in favor of bond and house arrest because Ritsema has no criminal history. But federal prosecutors said they believe there are at least two other victims connected to Ritsema.
Ritsema, who is suspended from his assistant principal job at Cypress Creek Middle High School in Pasco County, will remain in custody until his trial begins April 2.
If convicted, he could spend up to 70 years in prison.