A Racine County Sheriff’s Deputy is at risk spending the rest of his life behind bars after being hit with an eight-felony-count criminal complaint on Thursday. Racine County Sheriff’s Deputy Preston K. Kite, 37, of Union Grove, was charged today with one felony count of Possession of Child Pornography, five counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Child, one count of Lewd and Lascivious Behavior, and one count of Disorderly Conduct. Altogether, he faces a maximum sentence of 204 years in the Wisconsin Prison System. According to Kenosha County Deputy District Attorney Carli McNeill, however, the investigation is still ongoing, and Kite’s phone is still being searched – new charges could be forthcoming.
Liberal activist Racine Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch set bail at $50,000 on February 6, 2023, even though prosecutors asked for a $150,000 cash bail. Today, however, a more reasonable Court Commissioner, John Bjelajac, raised the bail to $150,000 and ordered house arrest and an ankle monitor if Kite can scrape up the $150k. Kite was also ordered to not have access to any device that is capable of connecting to the internet or recording.
According to the criminal complaint, Deputy Kite used the gay hookup app called “Sniffies,” an app that allows men to see where other gay men are on a gps map and have sex. He met a man on the site while the two were both at the Petro gas station in Sturtevant. The man went into the bathroom, where he saw a Racine County Deputy that was in full uniform and on duty, with the exception of the fact that he was masturbating. He told the man “don’t be scared.” Kite then attempted to get the man to go into the stall with him to have sex. The man instead ran out of the gas station and photographed Deputy Kite’s patrol car and sent it to the Racine County Sheriff’s Office. According to Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling, who called Deputy Kite’s actions “embarrassing,” told KCE he immediately called the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department to investigate his deputy.
Indeed, the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department conducted the investigation that would soon get larger in magnitude. A Kenosha County Sheriff’s Detective interviewed Kite, who mostly admitted to the attempted “hookup” but allegedly lied about some of the details. He allowed his cell phone to be searched.
A Kenosha Police forensic examiner then found a grisly display of graphic videos depicting child pornography. KCE will not go into further detail as we have not seen more disturbing depictions of children being exploited and sexually assaulted on camera. The 12-page criminal complaint paints a picture of a pedophile that showed little regard to the safety and well-being of children.
KCE reached out to the Racine County Sheriff’s Office and when asked if Kite was still employed Lieutenant Michael Luell told us:
“Kite is still employed at RCSO because there is a specific process we have to follow when terminating an employee. However, the answer to your question may change later today or later this week.”
Kite will appear at a preliminary hearing on February 15, 2024.