gavel.jpgAn East Bay professor who is accused in Missouri of raping a 1-year-old girl now faces new federal charges in San Francisco of crossing a state line for sexual abuse of a child and producing child pornography.

Kenneth Kyle, 46, of San Francisco, an assistant professor of public affairs at California State University, East Bay, was indicted by a federal grand jury in San Francisco on Wednesday Thursday.

The indictment charges him with four counts.

The first count is crossing a state line for purposes of aggravated sexual abuse of a child. If Kyle is convicted of that charge, it would carry a sentence of a minimum of 30 years to life in federal prison.

He is also accused of three other counts of producing, possessing and transporting child pornography.

Kyle and the child’s mother, Tessa Van Vlerah, 20, of Ballwin, Mo., also both face four state court charges in Missouri of raping Van Vlerah’s 1-year-old daughter, sodomy, promoting child pornography and committing or promoting incest.

Van Vlerah is in jail in St. Louis County, Mo., with a bail requirement of $2 million in cash.
Kyle is in federal custody in the Bay Area. He is due to be arraigned on the new federal charges at a hearing before U.S. Magistrate Bernard Zimmerman on Monday.

The federal indictment replaces a previous federal criminal complaint in which Kyle was accused of a single count of international transportation of pornography.

That charge stemmed from Kyle’s arrest at San Francisco International Airport on March 15 as he arrived on a flight from Germany. Federal investigators allege they found at least 529 child pornography photos and 33 videos on a laptop computer he was carrying.

Missouri prosecutors have said they were contacted by federal prosecutors on March 23 and told that Kyle had met Van Vlerah on the Internet and may have traveled to Missouri to contact her and her daughter.

The investigation led to Van Vlerah’s arrest and the filing of Missouri charges against the pair on March 24.

Van Vlerah is charged in the federal indictment with one count of producing child pornography depicting her own child between August and October 2009.

The federal indictment does not name the state to which Kyle allegedly traveled for the child sexual abuse and other crimes, but it gives the same dates, between August and October 2009, that are given in the charge against Van Vlerah.

CSUEB spokeswoman Monique Beeler said the university is “actively pursuing disciplinary actions” against Kyle.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!