On Monday, Jaycob Tyler Kutzera of Redlands, California, was scheduled to appear for a jury trial in U.S. District Court in Great Falls.

Kutzera, 24 years old, was charged with 35 counts of sexual exploitation of a child. Shortly before the trial was set to begin, Kutzera pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual exploitation of a child, and the U.S. Attorney agreed to dismiss the remaining counts.

In court filings, Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyndee Peterson stated that in April 2016, the mother of a 12-year old girl contacted the Great Falls Police Department.

The mother, formerly of Great Falls, stated that she had looked through her daughter’s cell phone and saw sexually explicit communications between her 12-year old daughter and a male, later identified as Kutzera.

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The mother also saw sexually explicit images. During its investigation, the Great Falls Police Department determined the 12-year old girl engaged in sexually explicit communications with Kutzera via Facebook and other online applications.

Kutzera requested sexually explicit images of the girl during their online chats.

GFPD Detective Jesse Slaughter traveled to California, seized Kutzera’s cellular phone and computer pursuant to a search warrant, and interviewed Kutzera.

During the interview, Kutzera admitted that he knew the girl was 12 years old, yet he continued to engage in the sexually explicit communications with her.

He also continued to receive images and videos of the child engaged in sexual conduct. He also sent the child images of himself masturbating. Kutzera’s conduct continued from April through October 2016.

Sentencing is set for June 13.

Kutzera faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years and up to 30 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and not less than five years of supervised release on each count.

U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris ordered Kutzera released pending sentencing.

This case was investigated by members of the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Great Falls Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations and FBI Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory

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