Sting Operation Leads to Solicitation Charges Against Rochester, MN Man
The criminal complaint, filed Thursday in Olmsted County Court, says a detective with the Coral Springs Police Department was working undercover as a 13-year-old girl online. The detective contacted a Rochester Police investigator after chatting with a Rochester man for several days.
The charges say the suspect, identified as 52-year-old Kyle Jo Werner, started chatting with the undercover officer, who identified themselves to Werener as a 13-year-old girl, on a messaging app called Paltalk on May 18. The charges say he also texted with the undercover officer.
The conversations became sexual in nature as the detective and Werner chatted from May 19-May 29. At one point Werner sent a video of him pleasuring himself. He also described sexual acts he wanted to perform on the young girl he thought he was chatting with, the complaint says.
After receiving the information from the Florida detective, the Rochester Police investigator verified Werner’s identity and found a tip from 2018 in which Werner was accused of using the same username to chat with undercover officers posing as a 14-year-old girls. This past April, an anonymous Crimestoppers tip alleged that Werner had child sexual abuse materials that were seen by the tipster, the charges say.
Police then executed a search warrant at Werner’s northwest Rochester home on June 14. Werner told officers he may have sent the undercover officer a video of him pleasuring himself and admitted to guiding the girl on how to pleasure herself.
The Olmsted County Attorney’s Office charged Werner with felony counts of Solicit Child or Believe to be a Child Through Electronic Communication to Engage in Sexual Conduct, Engage in Electronic Communication Relating or Describing Sexual Conduct with Child, Distribute via Electronic Communication Material that Relates/Describes Sexual Conduct to a Child and Solicit Child to Engage in Sexual Conduct-Prohibited Act.
Werner was arraigned on the charges in Olmsted County Court Thursday and released without bail but with conditions. His next court appearance is set for July 11.