Aptos babysitter ‘traded’ child porn with Tiburon babysitter, court docs state

Two young men accused in a child pornography investigation framed their lives around working jobs that gave them close access to children, court documents filed in federal court state.

Ryan Michael Spencer, 19, of Aptos, is accused of “trading” child pornography with Bryan Petersen, 24, of Tiburon, and manufacturing lewd images by photographing boys while babysitting.

FBI agents arrested Petersen at his Tiburon home two weeks ago, and he provided agents with information that led them to Spencer in Aptos, the FBI said. The recent Aptos High School graduate was arrested the following day.

According to the FBI, the two men exchanged images using the Kik messaging app. Petersen also traveled to Aptos to pick up an external hard drive from Spencer that contained thousands of images. Petersen saved several videos in a Dropbox account, court documents state.

According to a complaint filed by FBI special agent Elizabeth Hadley, a witness told the FBI, “Spencer’s primary source of income is from babysitting numerous children, and that Spencer takes images and video of many of these children when they are naked. Spencer told the witness that his preference is for children approximately four to eight-years-old.”

Petersen appears to be the same person as the FBI’s witness.

Petersen convinced a 17-year-old boy to secretly record videos of his 10-year-old brother, and sent the videos to Spencer, the FBI said.

The most recent trade happened last month when Spencer sent Petersen photographs he shot of naked boys in a swimming pool’s locker room, according to the FBI.

A judge ruled on Tuesday that the two men will remain in federal custody until their trials because they pose a risk to children. They are both charged with possessing child pornography, but may face more charges when an indictment is filed.

Spencer was employed by Santa Cruz County as an after school instructional aid at Mar Vista Elementary School, and as a cabin leader for Outdoor Science School. He was enrolled in Cabrillo College’s early education program with hopes of becoming an elementary school teacher, and observed teachers at Valencia Elementary School. The county fired him Friday.

News of Spencer’s arrest shocked many Aptos families who trusted him to care for their children.

One mother who hired Spencer as a babysitter told KSBW, “I would never in a hundred years suspect anything. Ryan had good referrals from other families.”

Petersen worked as a chess coach, tutor, and led overnight camping trips for young boys.

They both created baby sitting profiles on the website care.com, U.S. Attorney Brian Stretch wrote.
“Both defendants have built their lives around seeking access to children,” Stretch wrote in court documents.

As their next step in the investigation, FBI agents will attempt to identify children in the images and determine how many victims were involved. Agents seized multiple laptops and encrypted hard drives from Spencer’s bedroom to be processed in a forensic lab. Agents also seized a hard drive from Petersen’s bedroom and gained access to his Dropbox account.

Spencer and Petersen are scheduled to be arraigned May 16.

Officials with the Pajaro Valley Unified School District, County Office of Education, County Parks Department, Sheriff’s Office, and FBI are holding a community forum to answer questions about this incident on Thursday, May 11, at 7 p.m. The forum will be held in the Aptos High School Performing Arts Center.

Source:http://www.ksbw.com/article/aptos-babysitter-traded-child-porn-with-tiburon-babysitter-court-docs-state/9633925