A former Redmond man who lured children into sending him sexually explicit photos and videos was sentenced to 18 years in prison Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Eugene.
Brandon Howard Kautz, of The Dalles, faced federal and state charges. He appeared by video link from Eugene in the courtroom of Deschutes County Circuit Judge Randy Miller on Tuesday.
“I apologize for what I’ve done,” Kautz told Miller. “This whole case has really saved my life. I don’t believe that, had I not been arrested, that I would be here today.”
No victims appeared in court, in Bend or Eugene.
Kautz posted bail in both cases and had been on release in both. He will begin his sentence in January.
Kautz pleaded guilty in July to three charges of luring a minor, three charges of first-degree encouraging child sex abuse and four charges of using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct.
Between September 2015 and January 2016, Kautz pretended to be a teenage girl on Facebook and Instagram and engaged in sexually explicit conversations with boys age 10 to 17 and encouraged them to send him explicit photos of themselves and their younger brothers.
Several of the boys sent him images or livestreamed sex acts, which constitutes child pornography. He also sent photos of his genitals to the minors, according to the federal complaint against Kautz.
In all, Kautz manipulated 20 minor victims into sending him sexually explicit photos and/or videos.
At the time, Kautz was living in The Dalles with his parents and attending Oregon State University.
He’d formerly lived in Redmond with his family and knew many of his victims.
The case began in February 2016 with a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to the Redmond Police Department.
Eventually, Redmond detectives looped in the FBI.
A special agent subpoenaed Facebook for subscriber information for a “Britney Xievier” and “Elizabeth Pullock” — two aliases Kautz used. Facebook discovered those two accounts were connected to an IP address associated with Kautz and shut down the two false profiles, as well as Kautz’s profile.
Following the deactivation of his account, Kautz submitted his driver’s license to Facebook to have his profile reactivated. Facebook sent his information to local authorities, according to the federal complaint.
Kautz was charged with 32 counts in state court, including several Measure 11 offenses, and three in federal court.
Kautz had the choice of serving his sentence in federal or state prison, and he opted for federal.
“This kind of situation is pretty rare,” said Deschutes County Deputy District Attorney Matt Nelson.
— Reporter: 541-383-0325, firstname.lastname@example.org