By: Vic Ryckaert
PERU, Ind. (Scripps News Indianapolis) — A Miami County judge on Thursday sentenced Kegan Kline to 40 years in prison on charges of child exploitation and child pornography.
Miami Circuit Court Judge Timothy P. Spahr also suspended three more years of prison time and ordered Kline to serve three years of probation after his release.
Kline, 29, pleaded guilty in April to 25 felony charges including child exploitation, possession of child pornography and obstruction of justice.
Miami County Deputy Prosecutor Courtney B. Alwine described Kline as a monster who manipulated and victimized young girls.
“This is not a man,” Alwine said. “He is someone who has made children his prey.”
According to court records, investigators found explicit images of children during a search of Kline’s home in Peru in 2017.
Indiana State Police Officer Christopher Cecil, commander of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, testified that he found thousands of messages on Kline’s cell phones in which he used fake personas to persuade girls ages 12-18 to send him explicit images or videos.
Kline used the names “Anthony Shots,” “Emily Ann” and others to build trust with his victims, investigators testified.
Investigators testified they identified 11 victims, most of whom lived within driving distance of Miami County. Many other victims remain unidentified, according to testimony.
In court Thursday, Kline cried as he apologized to those victims.
“I was depressed and lonely. I knew it was wrong but I liked the attention,” Kline said. “I’m truly sorry to each and every one of them.”
Authorities have previously linked Kline to the “anthony_shots” catfishing social media account tied to the investigation into the killings of Abby Williams and Libby German in Delphi.
Kline has never been charged in the deaths of the girls.
In October, Carroll County prosecutors charged Delphi resident Richard M. Allen with murder in the 2017 deaths of Abby Williams, 13, and Libby German, 14. The girls’ bodies were found on Valentine’s Day 2017 off a trail near the Monon High Bridge in Delphi.
This story was originally published on July 27, 2023, by Scripps News Indianapolis, an E.W. Scripps Company.