Kyle Reuter, age 24, was sentenced in 4th Judicial District Court Wednesday morning. Reuter had plead “guilty” in February of this year, per a plea agreement with the State, on a charge of possession of child pornography.
Representing Reuter was Gillette attorney Nick Carter; Sheridan Deputy County Attorney Dianna Bennett represented the State. While no witnesses were called, Bennett presented in her sentencing argument that she became aware of Reuter violating terms of his bond while he has been in jail, in that he was writing to and receiving letters from a 16-year-old female. Those letters, Bennett indicated, were of a salacious nature, in which Reuter told her he had a preference for young girls.
Bennett also told Judge Fenn that Reuter has not seemed to take responsibility for his actions, that he has not actively sought treatment and that he had been involved in sexually-explicit chats with minor-age females as well as viewing child pornography.
Judge Fenn shared with Bennett his concern with the plea agreement, stating that “it appears to the Court that this is a very troubled young man and he needs help, but it doesn't appear that he is doing much to get help. If he's in prison for a short amount of time but still doesn't receive help, he's that much older and out in the community.”
Bennett responded by saying that at the time of the plea agreement, it appeared that Reuter was starting to “get it” as far as understanding the seriousness of his crime, but then she became aware of the letters and chat history.
Carter then addressed Judge Fenn, saying that philosophically, the criminal justice system is “ill-equipped” to deal with mental health issues, and “when help comes with a pair of handcuffs, it is help someone isn't apt to accept.”
Carter said that in the time he's been representing Reuter, he has seen his client mature, and that the medication Reuter is taking for depression – Reuter has been prescribed Prozac – has been helping him considerably. Carter added that in his opinion, Reuter has, in the last few months, come to understand and admit to what he has done, and that by Reuter admitting in Court and in writing to this understanding is a “first step.”
Reuter was given an opportunity to speak before being sentenced. He tearfully apologized to the Court, to Bennett and to his mother. He said after he is released from prison, where he intends to seek out available treatment, he plans to attend college to get a broadcasting and business degree. He said to Judge Fenn, “I didn't initially understand that what I was viewing was illegal.”
When it came time for sentencing, Judge Fenn accepted the terms of the plea agreement, giving Reuter 3 to 5 years in the Wyoming State Penitentiary with credit for approximately 380 days served in the Sheridan County Detention Center. Reuter is also to pay $200 to the Crime Victims Compensation Fund, $75 for his PSI Evaluation and $20 in Court costs.
Before adjourning the Court, Judge Fenn remarked to Reuter, “I have real concern for you; if you need help, get it. Don't be in front of me or another judge for a more serious crime after you get out of prison, because then I will do what is best for the safety of the community.”