DOCS: Man attempted to 'groom' former teenage students through social media messages

Posted at 3:00 PM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-09 18:27:33-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — A former Bakersfield elementary teacher was arrested in San Diego County in April after Bakersfield Police obtained messages from him to two former teenage students attempting to solicit nude photos and a video recording of him touching himself during a video chat, according to court documents.

The documents say that on Dec. 5, BPD was alerted to inappropriate messages from Kyle Puette to former students after the sister of one of the alleged victims came forward. The alleged victim's sister told police Puette, a former teacher at Louise Sandrini Elementary School, had contacted her sister over Instagram and she believed he was attempting to "groom" her sister.

The alleged victim's sister told police she was with her sister when Puette attempted to video chat over Instagram. She told police "she heard Puette moaning and 'clearly masturbating." She recorded the video call and gave it to police, the documents said.

The court documents say Puette also attempted to solicit nude photos from the second alleged victim and asked her "touch" herself in sexual manners. In the messages, Puette acknowledges the alleged victim is a juvenile, the documents said.

Police obtained warrants for Puette's social media messages. Court documents outline numerous sexual messages sent to the alleged victims.

Puette, 37, was arrested on April 29 in Valley Center where he was employed as a 3rd and 5th-grade teacher at Valley Center Elementary School. He was brought back to Kern County and pleaded not guilty to two counts of exhibiting harmful matter to a minor and six counts of contacting a minor with the intent to commit a sexual offense.

Previously Puette worked as a teacher for the Panama-Buena Vista School District from 2013-2017. He is being held without bail and is due back in court on July 8.