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Group says Wichita man facing porn charge not volunteer for them

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, at 7:55 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, at 6:31 p.m.

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On Wednesday the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that federal prosecutors charged a Wichita man, identified as being a volunteer with a youth mentoring program, with distributing child pornography.

But an official with the Wichita program, Youth Horizons, said Thursday that the group has no record of the man charged, Amel Kevin Loop, ever being a mentor, volunteer or donor with the group. It appears that Loop falsely claimed in a biography to be a volunteer for the group, said Rodney Bartlett, executive director of Youth Horizons.

Loop, 52, was charged with one count of distributing child pornography, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release. A criminal complaint filed in federal court in Wichita alleges that on Nov. 5, Loop distributed child pornography over the Internet.

In an e-mail statement later Thursday, Youth Horizons also said that Loop “is not currently associated with Youth Horizons in any capacity and to our knowledge has never officially participated in any Youth Horizons activity.” It said that “Loop’s parents, however, are long-time supporters of Youth Horizons.”

The statement said the group has an approved screening process. “Safety of the children in our programs is our top priority and a requisite for effective mentoring.”

An affidavit alleges that on Sept. 11, a law enforcement officer took part in an undercover chat session with another computer user, the news release said. “The individual said he was sexually interested in toddlers and that he had shared a boy with another adult male.” The person indicated he would “share more than just pics.”

Investigators followed an electronic trail to a computer at a company, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “Investigators found a biographical summary on the company’s website indicating that Loop was an employee of the company and a volunteer with Youth Horizons, a non-profit organization that provides mentors for children from single-parent homes.”

Investigators found photos of boys 8 to 12 in underwear or basketball uniforms.

The office said that in November, “an FBI agent downloaded 14 images from Loop that clearly depicted prepubescent children displaying their genitals and engaged in sexual acts.”

Investigators served search warrants at Loop’s home and his workplace, and a minor told them that Loop had engaged in sexual contact with him about 11 years ago, the office said.

If convicted, Loop faces five to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000.

Reach Tim Potter at 316-268-6684 or tpotter@wichitaeagle.com.

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