Kansas man pleads guilty to sexually exploiting 14-year-old Lynchburg teen

Kent estimated he solicited and received images of child sexual abuse material from approximately 200 minor girls

LYNCHBURG, Va. – A Kansas man is facing a potential 30-year-old prison sentence after pleading guilty to federal child exploitation charges involving a 14-year-old Lynchburg teen, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Authorities said 22-year-old Andrew Kent, of Manhattan, Kansas, met the young girl on Twitter while posing as a 20-year-old woman named “Tris.” He then used the “Tris” persona to introduce the victim to a young man named “Leo;” however, unbeknownst to the teen, he managed both accounts.

Court documents reveal that Kent told the victim that he was a 21-year-old man who lived in Roanoke, Virginia, and even went as far as sending generic pictures of Roanoke to back up his false claims that he lived near her.

When the two first began talking, the 14-year-old made Kent aware of her age, and he told her that he wanted to meet her in person so that he could “take a kid’s virginity.”

As the conversations continued, he instructed her to call him “Daddy,” “Sir” or “Master,” and said if she didn’t, he would punish her. According to court documents, he also sent her violent messages about how he wanted to cut her and make her bleed.

After messaging one another for several weeks, Kent told the victim to send him nude photographs and videos of herself, to which she obliged.

On June 16, 2023, law enforcement arrested Kent and he was also interviewed by FBI agents.

“At that time, he admitted to using Twitter, Snapchat, and Discord to contact minor girls for the purpose of getting them to send him naked pictures,” the Department of Justice said in a press release. “He often used the “Tris” persona because he found it was easier to get minor girls to talk to him if he pretended to be a young woman.”

Kent estimated he solicited and received images of child sexual abuse material from approximately 200 minor girls. Kent faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years.

“This case demonstrates the importance of knowing not only what your children are doing online, but also with whom they are communicating,” United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh said. “There are dangerous people on the Internet who specifically target children. We will use every tool we have to find those people and bring them to justice, but parents also perform a critical part in educating and monitoring their children’s online activity.”

About the Author

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.

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