A former high-ranking official with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, 58-year-old Kyle G. Smith, has pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual exploitation of a child. The charge involves the possession of a sexually explicit photograph. Smith, a former KBI deputy director, entered the guilty plea today (THUR) before Shawnee County District Court Judge Cheryl Kingfisher. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that two charges of interference with law enforcement were dropped, including allegations Smith tried to destroy evidence on a telephone and on a computer. Sentencing for Smith is set for May 28.
During the hearing, senior assistant district attorney Todd Hiatt said the photograph surfaced in an attachment to an email sent to a secretary at the KBI on November 7. The email had been sent by Smith, and the secretary received it at the KBI. Hiatt said the photograph was of a teenager crouched in a position exposing her breasts and genitalia. A Topeka pediatrician examined the photograph and said that the girl in the photo was younger than 18.
Defense attorney Haney said this wasn’t a sex crime but was a matter of possessing one photograph that was on Smith’s computer and was from a public website. Haney also said Smith neither produced nor bought the photograph, he didn’t have contact with a child or harm a child, the case had nothing to do with the KBI or his work, and the photograph wasn’t on a state computer or viewed on state time.
As deputy director, Smith was third in line at the KBI. The KBI’s human resources office issued a notice November 26 that Smith no longer worked at the agency. Smith had been the deputy director since 2011.