A Minnetonka, MN man is facing felony charges in Barron County Circuit Court following an undercover internet child enticement investigation in which he responded to an advertisement posted in a particular area of a website that consisted mostly of advertisements seeking sexual relationships.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Barron County Circuit Court, Kevin Rust, of Minnetonka, MN, responded to an advertisement titled “younger lady looking for older”. This advertisement had been posted on March 13, 2018 by a Rice Lake Police Officer and was being monitored as part of the undercover investigation.
Rust is charged with Class C Felony Use a Computer to Facilitate a Child Sex Crime, Class D Felony Child Enticement-Sexual Contact, and Class C Felony Attempt Sexual Assault of a Child under 16 years of Age.
The criminal complaint goes on to state that emails were received by investigating officers in response to the advertisement in mid-June 2018. The email exchanges were from someone identifying themselves as “jbliss121”. The officer then provided a cell phone number to the individual, which was a cell phone used for investigations.
The officer exchanged text messages with this individual, a man, including receiving photographs from him. He gave the name of “Rusty” during the text conversations, and was told that he was communicating with a 15-year-old female named “Lyla”.
The criminal complaint contains details regarding eight different text conversations which were exchanged between “Lyla” and Rust. During these conversations, Rust stated multiple times that he wanted to have sexual intercourse with the juvenile female that he believed he was having conversations with; as well as stating specifically what he wanted to do with her sexually.
Some of the text messages from Rust reference that he didn’t want anyone to know about this as he didn’t want to get in trouble due to her age.
Rust also communicated that he was willing to travel the distance from Minnesota to Rice Lake to see “Lyla”, and attempted to make plans to meet with her on June 24, 2018 and June 26, 2018.
On June 28, 2018, Rust arrived in Rice Lake, in the early afternoon and went to Cedar Mall, where “Lyla” told him she wanted to meet.
Officers were on site in order to conduct surveillance of the parking lot. A vehicle with Minnesota license plates arrived, and a check of the vehicle registration came back as belonging to Kevin Rust. When officers reviewed Rust’s driver’s license photo, it was a match to the photos that had been received during the text communications with “Lyla”.
“Lyla” had then instructed him to come to an apartment complex where she stated that she lived, and when Rust arrived at that apartment complex, officers made contact with him and arrested him.
The criminal complaint goes on to state that when officers interviewed Rust, and showed him the 34-page report of the text message conversations, he admitted to sending the text messages and indicated that he knew the female that he was communicating with was 15 years old. Although Rust denied that he intended to have sex with “Lyla”, he did admit that he had travelled over 2 hours to meet with her that night.
Maximum penalties for a conviction of Class C Felony Use of a Computer to Facilitate a Child Sex Crime are imprisonment for not more than 40 years, a maximum fine of $100,000, or both. A conviction of Class D Felony Child Enticement carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment for 25 years, a maximum fine of $100,000, or both. The maximum penalty for a conviction of Attempt Sexual Assault of a Child Under 16 Years of Age is imprisonment for not more than 20 years, a maximum fine of $50,000, or both.
Online circuit court records show that Rust was placed on a $5,000 cash bail bond on July 2, 2018. Rust is scheduled to appear again later this month regarding his criminal charges.
Pursuant to the direction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicly, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.