Man gathers evidence of inappropriate messages, prosecutor says - WNEM TV 5

Man gathers evidence of inappropriate messages, prosecutor says no crime committed

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"It's creepy. It's disgusting. It's vile," said David Kyllonen.

That is how David Kyllonen described this Facebook message: "I'll pick you up and we can come here and drink, make out, or whatever we want."

It’s just one of the Facebook messages Kyllonen’s 14-year-old stepdaughter has received. The sender is 26.

"She came to me and brought me her phone and said this guy Facebook-ed me and looks kind of older," Kyllonen said.

When the messenger, who claims to be 17, finds out she's only 14, he didn’t seem to mind. He tells her it's OK and they can talk, but asks her to keep it between them.

He even offers to get her alcohol.

It’s a trail of evidence Kyllonen took to the police, but the man is still walking the streets.

"I just don't understand it. I don't understand how somebody can do that and just get away with it," Kyllonen said.

Kyllonen said the Michigan State Police did a good job investigating.

In a police report TV5 obtained, troopers even went to the man's home, and said they got a confession.

According to these documents and Kyllonen, the Bay County prosecutor's office declined to move forward.

“I think that if you try to get with a 14-year-old girl at 26, how is that not illegal,” Kyllonen said. “He says you have to prove sexual intent. Well, if you're saying you have to take them back to your house, get drunk, and make out, or whatever you want to do, to me that's sexual intent.”

Bay County attorney Ed Czuprynski said the big question raised by these messages rise up to being unlawful. 

"Well, it's a hard call and there may or may not have been criminal conduct involved," Czuprynski said. "But, of greater importance or concern in my mind, is the politics that go into these decisions. We don't know if this was objectively viewed or not, or if there were political strings pulled. That's the way it is in this town, it has been for years. I'm just so sick of it."

TV5 reached out to the Bay County prosecutor’s office, but Prosecutor Kurt Asbury declined to comment, and said assistant prosecutor Jeff Stroud handled the case. 

Despite state troopers' police report that the suspect had confessed, Stroud explained, it wouldn't go far enough to convict him of a crime.

"Though he admitted that he was the person who was messaging with the "girl" he specifically denied that he had intended to do anything with this person," Stroud said.

Stroud said while the messages were inappropriate, the conversation never became overtly sexual.

"Innuendo and suggestiveness is often evidence of what we call 'grooming,'" Stroud said. "The suspect, if his real intention is to entice or persuade a child to engage in sexual activity, will start slowly and introduce his victim to his ultimate goal gradually over time.  If we assume that the suspect had this intention, Mr. Kyllonen got involved before anything happened."

The law doesn't allow for authorities to prosecute anyone for wanting to commit a crime if that person never commits one, Stroud said.

"I admire and appreciate Mr. Kyllonen's determination to protect his family," Stroud said. "I advised him when we met that he should have called the police and let the police attempt to continue communicating with the suspect.  [Internet Crimes Against Children] members are very good at that and it may have borne fruit. That didn't happen."

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